Hypertensive crisis: clinical characteristics of patients with hypertensive urgency, emergency and pseudocrisis at a public emergency department

Angela Maria Geraldo Pierin Carime Farah Flórido Juliano dos Santos About the authors



To assess patients with hypertensive crisis, classified as urgency, emergency or pseudocrisis, and identify the associated variables.


We evaluated a total of 508 patients (57% women; 56.3±13.8 years old) with hypertensive crisis (diastolic blood pressure of 120mmHg), aged 18 years or over, seen at the emergency department of a public general hospital.


The prevalence of hypertensive crises was 6/1,000; in that, 71.7% presented hypertensive urgency, 19.1% hypertensive emergency, and 9.2% hypertensive pseudocrisis. In the multinominal logistic regression, pseudocrisis and urgency conditions were compared to hypertensive emergency. Therefore, the presence of pain (OR: 55.58; 95%CI: 10.55-292.74) except chest pain and headache, and emotional problems (OR: 17.13; 95%CI: 2.80-104.87) increased the likelihood of hypertensive pseudocrisis. Age >60 years (OR: 0,32; 95%CI: 0.10-0.96) and neurologic problems (OR: 1.5.10-8; 95%CI: 1.5.10-8-1.5.10-8) protected against hypertensive pseudocrisis. The comparison of hypertensive urgency with hypertensive emergency showed that age >60 years (OR: 0.50; 95%CI: 0.27-0.92), neurologic (OR: 0.09; 95%CI: 0.04-0.18) and emotional problems (OR: 0.06; 95%CI: 4.7.10-3-0.79) protected against hypertensive urgency. Moreover, only headache (OR: 14.28; 95%CI: 3.32-61.47) increased the likelihood of hypertensive urgency.


Advanced age and neurological problems were associated to hypertensive emergency. Headache was associated with hypertensive urgency. Pain and emotional problems were associated with hypertensive pseudocrisis. Our results can contribute to identifying patients with hypertensive crisis who seek emergency services.

Hypertension; Emergency medical services; Emergency treatment; Prevalence

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