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Acute Severe Arterial Hypertension: Therapeutic Options

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Arterial hypertension is a very common condition. Cerebral, coronary and renal vessels are mainly affected by the deleterious effect of this condition, and both acute and chronic organ failure may ensue. Exacerbation of underlying pathophysiologic conditions or new precipitating factors can lead to hypertensive crisis, either urgencies or emergencies. During hypertensive emergencies, a quick raise in arterial pressure may lead to acute and significant organ dysfunction, such as aortic dissection, acute myocardial infarction, intracranial bleeding or acute renal failure. Perioperative hypertension often takes the shape of a crisis and it can be related to hypothermia, pain, neuro-hormonal response to surgical trauma or antihypertensive drugs withdrawal. Treatment for hypertensive crisis should achieve a progressive control of blood pressure, avoiding any abrupt decrease in organ blood supply. Therapeutic options are many and different in terms of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamic profiles. The best option should be based upon the characteristics of the patient and the pathophysiology of the hypertensive crisis . Of particular interest, some agents are metabolized by blood esterase and have a very short half life (e.g., clevidipine). This allows tight titration of their effect, which is advisable when carefully lowering blood pressure. This is of particular importance when treating hypertensive crisis in surgical patients both intra-operatively or in critical care.

Keywords: Cardiovascular homeostasis; antihypertensive treatment; hypertensive emergency; perioperative hypertension

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-08-01

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  • Current Drug Targets aims to cover the latest and most outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry and pharmacology of molecular drug targets e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will be devoted to a single timely topic, with series of in-depth reviews, written by leaders in the field, covering a range of current topics on drug targets. These issues will be organized and led by a guest editor who is a recognized expert in the overall topic. As the discovery, identification, characterisation and validation of novel human drug targets for drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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