Patients With Hypertensive Crises Who Are Admitted to a Coronary Care Unit: Clinical Characteristics and Outcomes


Address for correspondence: Héctor González Pacheco, MD, Juan Badiano number 1 Colonia Sección XVI, C.P 14080, Tlalpan, Mexico City, Mexico



Patients with hypertensive crises, especially hypertensive emergencies, require immediate admittance to an intensive care unit for rapid blood pressure (BP) control. The authors analyzed the prevalence of hypertensive crisis, the clinical characteristics, and the evolution of patients with hypertensive emergencies and urgencies. Patients were divided into 3 groups according to their BP values: group I, predominant systolic hypertension (≥180/≤119 mm Hg); group II, severe systolic and diastolic hypertension (≥180/≥120 mm Hg); and group III, predominant diastolic hypertension (≤179/≥120 mm Hg). Of all of the patients admitted to a coronary care unit, 538 experienced a hypertensive crisis, which represented 5.08% of all admissions. Hypertensive emergency was predominant in 76.6% of the cases, which corresponded to acute coronary syndrome and acute decompensated heart failure in 59.5% and 25.2% of the cases, respectively. A pattern of predominant systolic hypertension (≥180/≤119 mm Hg) was most commonly observed in the hypertensive crisis group (71.4%) and the hypertensive emergency group (72.1%). The medications that were most commonly used at onset included intravenous vasodilators (nitroglycerin in 63.4% and sodium nitroprusside in 16.4% of the patients). The overall mortality rate was 3.7%. The mortality rate was 4.6% for hypertensive emergency cases and 0.8% for hypertensive urgencies cases.