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Med Clin North Am. 2006 May;90(3):439-51.

Hypertensive emergency and severe hypertension: what to treat, who to treat, and how to treat.

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Division of Emergency Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.


Remember to treat patients, not numbers. Use fast acting shortterm medicines only when convincing evidence of rapidly evolving end-organ damage is present. For all patients, emergent or asymptomatic, the treatment goal is long-term control of hypertension. Potent IV agents for the im-mediate control of elevated blood pressure need to be used cautiously,bearing in mind both the side effects and the hazards of overly rapid control of hypertension. Conventional oral medication regimens demonstrated to modify the risks of chronic hypertension should be used whenever possible and as early as is practical to promote gradual control of hypertension. Whenever a patient presents for the evaluation of severe hypertension in an emergent setting, take the opportunity to encourage appropriate ongoing follow-up; after all, hypertension is not a single episode, it is an ongoing threat to good health.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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