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What Is Malignant Hypertension And Factors Associated With This?

Written and reviewed by
Dr.Garima 92% (462ratings)
What Is Malignant Hypertension And Factors Associated With This?

Hypertension is a disorder where your blood pressure remains higher than normal i.e. 120/80. Anything over this is termed as hypertension or high blood pressure. However, malignant hypertension refers to the more serious form of the disease. People suffering from malignant hypertension usually have blood pressure exceeding 180/120.

Causes of malignant hypertension

People with malignant hypertension generally suffer from high blood pressure. Therefore, missing a dose of medication for their elevated blood pressure may cause blood pressure to rise drastically. Apart from this, here are some medical disorders that may be responsible for malignant hypertension.

  • Vascular diseases, which affect the collagen, such as scleroderma

  • Injuries to the spinal cord

  • Kidney disease

  • A tumour in the adrenal gland

  • Substance abuse, such as snorting cocaine

  • Side effect from certain birth control medication and antidepressants

Symptoms of malignant hypertension

The most serious and noticeable symptoms of malignant hypertension are signs of organ damage and excessively high blood pressure. Your kidneys and eyes are most likely to suffer from extremely high blood pressure. It can lead to permanent damage to your vision. Other symptoms of malignant hypertension are –

  • Chest pain

  • Blurred vision

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Extreme headache

  • Numbness in the limbs

  • Shortness of breath

In rare instances of the disorder, the excessive blood pressure may lead to a swelling in the brain. This, again, causes the following symptoms –

  • Blindness

  • Coma

  • Drowsiness

  • Headache

  • Seizures

  • Vomiting and nausea

  • Changes in mental status

If you delay treating malignant hypertension, your kidneys may stop working completely, leading to kidney failure.

Treating malignant hypertension

If a doctor diagnoses you with malignant hypertension, you would need to seek emergency medical treatment at a hospital. The main aim of the treatment is to reduce the blood pressure drastically within minutes so that your body does not undergo permanent damage.

  • Doctors will start administering blood pressure controlling medications through your IV. Once the blood pressure levels are down, you will be given oral forms of these drugs.

  • Some people may damage their kidneys by the time they receive treatment. These people will need to undergo kidney dialysis.

Therefore, it is imperative that you do not delay treatment if your doctor diagnoses you with malignant hypertension.

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