Malignant Hypertension

What is Malignant Hypertension?

Malignant hypertension is a rare and severe form of hypertension, defined as "persistent hypertension with significant damage to one or more organ systems." It g is marked by unusually high blood pressure readings (210 mm Hg systolic or 120 diastolic or higher) and clinical evidence of organ damage. The condition is associated with a rapid onset of symptoms and typically requires immediate medical attention for proper diagnosis.

What are the Symptoms of Malignant Hypertension?

The signs and symptoms of malignant hypertension can be quite severe and can include:

  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Breathlessness
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Dizziness
  • The vision loss
  • Kidney failure
  • Seizures
  • Stroke

What Causes Malignant Hypertension?

The cause of malignant hypertension can be one or many of the following:

  • Kidney disease
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Excessive intake of salt
  • Severe primary hypertension
  • Alcohol use
  • Use of certain medications
  • Pregnancy complications

Diagnosis of Malignant Hypertension

The diagnosis of malignant hypertension is made by measuring a person's blood pressure. A reading of 210 mm Hg systolic or 120 diastolic or higher will be considered to be a sign of malignant hypertension. Additionally, the doctor will need to assess any clinical evidence of organ damage.


The treatment of malignant hypertension typically depends on the severity of a person's condition. In general, treatment will involve medications to control blood pressure and lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise and a healthy diet.

In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the underlying condition or to repair any damage caused by the malignant hypertension. Kidney dialysis may also be necessary if kidney failure has occurred.