Focused Update on Pharmacologic Management of Hypertensive Emergencies
Purpose of Review
Hypertensive emergency is defined as a systolic blood pressure > 180 mmHg or a diastolic blood pressure > 120 mmHg with evidence of new or progressive end-organ damage. The purpose of this paper is to review advances in the treatment of hypertensive emergencies within the last 5 years.
New literature and recommendations for managing hypertensive emergencies in the setting of pregnancy, stroke, and heart failure have been published.
Oral nifedipine is now considered an alternative first-line therapy, along with intravenous hydralazine and labetalol for women presenting with pre-eclampsia. Clevidipine is now endorsed by guidelines as a first-line treatment option for blood pressure reduction in acute ischemic stroke and may be considered for use in intracranial hemorrhage. Treatment of hypertensive heart failure remains challenging; clevidipine and enalaprilat can be considered for use in this population although data supporting their use remains limited.
KeywordsHypertensive emergency Hypertensive crisis, intravenous antihypertensive medications
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest relevant to this manuscript.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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