Advances in management of acute hypertension: a concise review

Discov Med. 2012 May;13(72):375-83.


Chronic hypertension affects >1 billion people worldwide and >70 million people in the United States. Acute hypertensive episodes (AHE) are defined as severe spikes in blood pressure that may result in end-organ damage. Although AHE may arise independently as de novo events, they are more likely to occur in patients with pre-existing hypertension. One of the controversies regarding the clinical approach to AHE is the selection of anti-hypertensive medication. Depending on the clinical presentation of the patient and the threat of end-organ damage resulting from blood pressure elevation, appropriate and prompt treatment is warranted. There are multiple agents available for the management of hypertension. However, the greatest challenge lies in the acute care setting where the need exists for better initial and sustained control of blood pressure spikes. Many anti-hypertensive agents effectively lower blood pressure, yet only few have the capacity to achieve strict control of hypertension in the acute setting. Clevidipine butyrate is an ultra short-acting intravenous dihydropyridine calcium-channel blocker. Clevidipine has unique pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties that enable the fast, safe, and adequate reduction of blood pressure in hypertensive emergencies, with the ability to provide highly precise titration necessary to maintain a narrowly-defined target blood pressure range. Several recently published phase I, II, and III clinical studies have shown Clevidipine to be an effective blood pressure modulator in such capacity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / therapy*
  • United States / epidemiology