Diagnosis of malignant hypertension
To diagnose a case of malignant hypertension, the doctors will depend on blood pressure measurements and signs of multi-organ damage.
If you have malignant hypertension symptoms, your doctor will do the following:
〉 First, he will ask you if you previously diagnosed with hypertension and if you take antihypertensive medications, and if you missed the last dose.
He will then measure your blood pressure and examine you by his stethoscope to see if there are abnormal heart or lung sounds.
He will then examine your eyes to see if there is papilledema (edema around the optic nerve) or damage in the retinal blood vessels.
〉〉 Then, he will ask you to do some tests to determine organ failure, such as:
- Blood tests that measure the levels of creatinine and blood urea nitrogen. The level of these substances is high in cases of renal failure.
- Urine analysis to see if there is blood, protein, hormones, or any abnormal substance in urine as this indicates a kidney problem
- Sodium and potassium levels
- Tests for blood coagulation
- Blood glucose test
- Complete blood count (CBC)
If the doctor expected organ failure from the previous test results, he would order additional tests to evaluate organ failure. These tests include:
- Echocardiogram to see the heart performance and blood flow through it
- Electrocardiogram (ECG) to evaluate the electrical function of the heart
- These tests will detect if there is heart failure.
- Chest X-ray helps to detect pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs) and helps to see if there is abnormal heart shape or size, such as hypertrophy.
- Computed tomography (CT) scan or Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan on the brain to detect stroke or intracranial hemorrhage
- Renal Ultrasound to see if there are other problems related to the kidneys or their arteries
In this way, the doctor will diagnose malignant hypertension, determine the presence of organ damage, and evaluate it, and this will help him treat the case effectively.
- We said that malignant hypertension requires immediate treatment to prevent its life-threatening complications and reverse it early if it occurred.
›» Now, we will discuss the treatment of malignant hypertension.