Thursday, 12 November 2009

Paroxysmal hypertension

If your patient has episodic (as opposed to persistent) spells of hypertension, which diagnostic avenues should you pursue? The list is actually quite small, and the one I was taught is as follows:

  • Anxiety disorders, including panic attacks (usually only a mild increase in BP)
  • Drug abuse (only some types, like cocaine)
  • Phaeochromocytoma
Most of the other causes of hypertension lead to a persistent elevation of the blood pressure.

1 comment: