Novel Biomarkers to Detect Target Organ Damage in Acute Hypertension

  • Stephen Boone
  • Dick Kuo
Hypertension and Emergency Medicine (T Rainer and P Levy, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Hypertension and Emergency Medicine


Purpose of Review

Early lowering of blood pressure is advised for patients with severe hypertension associated with signs of impending or progressive organ damage, whereas aggressive treatment is not recommended in patients with asymptomatic severe hypertension. As treatment goals for asymptomatic hypertension and true hypertensive emergency drastically differ, it is essential to identify patients with evidence of impending or progressive organ damage. Biomarkers may assist providers in identifying high-risk patients who would benefit from early blood pressure reduction.

Recent Findings

In this review, we discuss both currently available and investigational biomarkers that may help identify patients who might benefit from more aggressive therapy. We focus on serum and urinary biomarkers associated with acute cardiovascular, renal, and cerebrovascular damage.


There is a dearth of literature regarding the use of biomarkers to assess acute hypertension-related target organ damage. We are primarily forced to draw conclusions on the use of biomarkers from studies of related conditions such as acute heart failure. Further research is needed on the clinical significance of abnormal levels of novel biomarkers of renal, cardiac, and cerebral dysfunction in the setting of severe hypertension, particularly in those patients without overt clinical signs of organ failure.


Hypertensive emergency Acute hypertension Hypertensive urgency Target organ damage End organ damage Biomarkers 


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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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departments of Emergency Medicine and Internal MedicineBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Emergency MedicineBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA

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