Malignant Hypertension Quiz

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Reviewed By:

Maxwell J. Nanes

Maxwell J. Nanes, DO (Emergency department)

Sanshiro Kato

Sanshiro Kato, MD (Emergency department)

From our team of 50+ doctors

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Learn more about Malignant hypertension

Content updated on Sep 20, 2022

What is malignant hypertension?

Malignant hypertension is extremely high blood pressure with evidence that it is causing organ damage. High blood pressure is a medical emergency if there is reason to believe organ damage is occurring. Causes include not taking blood pressure medications, blood vessel disease, kidney disease, spinal cord injuries, adrenal gland tumors, certain medications like birth control pills and illegal drugs abuse, such as cocaine.

Symptoms of malignant hypertension

  • Dizziness

  • Headache

  • Similar chest pain to the previous heart attack

  • Losing consciousness

  • Fatigue

  • Chest tightness

Questions your doctor may ask to check for malignant hypertension

Your doctor may ask these questions to diagnose malignant hypertension

  • Are you feeling dizzy right now?

  • Do you have headaches or does your head feel heavy?

  • Do you have same type of chest pain as your previous heart attack?

  • Have you currently regained consciousness after temporarily losing consciousness?

  • Do you feel fatigued?

Treatment for malignant hypertension

Immediate evaluation in a hospital to investigate if there is organ damage is suggested--especially if high blood pressure numbers accompany headache, vision problems, arm or leg weakness/numbness, and chest pain or difficulty breathing. Treatment in those circumstances may involve injected and oral medications to quickly lower the blood pressure.

View the symptoms of Malignant hypertension


  • Domek M, Gumprecht J, Lip GYH, Shantsila A. Malignant hypertension: does this still exist? J Hum Hypertens. 2020 Jan;34(1):1-4. doi: 10.1038/s41371-019-0267-y. Epub 2019 Oct 21. PMID: 31636349.

  • Lewek J, Bielecka-Dąbrowa A, Maciejewski M, Banach M. Pharmacological management of malignant hypertension. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2020 Jul;21(10):1189-1192. doi: 10.1080/14656566.2020.1732923. Epub 2020 Feb 26. PMID: 32100590.

  • Shantsila A, Lip GYH. Malignant Hypertension Revisited-Does This Still Exist? Am J Hypertens. 2017 Jun 1;30(6):543-549. doi: 10.1093/ajh/hpx008. PMID: 28200072.

  • Gosse P, Boulestreau R, Brockers C, Puel C, Rubin S, Cremer A. The pharmacological management of malignant hypertension. J Hypertens. 2020 Nov;38(11):2325-2330. doi: 10.1097/HJH.0000000000002547. PMID: 32649635.

Reviewed By:

Maxwell J. Nanes

Maxwell J. Nanes, DO (Emergency department)

Sanshiro Kato

Sanshiro Kato, MD (Emergency department)

From our team of 50+ doctors

Just 3 minutes.
Developed by doctors.

Ubie is supervised by 50+ medical experts worldwide

Shohei Harase

Shohei Harase, MD


Kameda Medical Center, Japan

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