Clinical Outcomes in Hypertensive Emergency: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

J Am Heart Assoc. 2023 Jul 18;12(14):e029355. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.122.029355. Epub 2023 Jul 8.


Background To study the prevalence and types of hypertension-mediated organ damage and the prognosis of patients presenting to the emergency department (ED) with hypertensive emergencies. Methods and Results PubMed was queried from inception through November 30, 2021. Studies were included if they reported the prevalence or prognosis of hypertensive emergencies in patients presenting to the ED. Studies reporting data on hypertensive emergencies in other departments were excluded. The extracted data were arcsine transformed and pooled using a random-effects model. Fifteen studies (n=4370 patients) were included. Pooled analysis demonstrates that the prevalence of hypertensive emergencies was 0.5% (95% CI, 0.40%-0.70%) in all patients presenting to ED and 35.9% (95% CI, 26.7%-45.5%) among patients presenting in ED with hypertensive crisis. Ischemic stroke (28.1% [95% CI, 18.7%-38.6%]) was the most prevalent hypertension-mediated organ damage, followed by pulmonary edema/acute heart failure (24.1% [95% CI, 19.0%-29.7%]), hemorrhagic stroke (14.6% [95% CI, 9.9%-20.0%]), acute coronary syndrome (10.8% [95% CI, 7.3%-14.8%]), renal failure (8.0% [95% CI, 2.9%-15.5%]), subarachnoid hemorrhage (6.9% [95% CI, 3.9%-10.7%]), encephalopathy (6.1% [95% CI, 1.9%-12.4%]), and the least prevalent was aortic dissection (1.8% [95% CI, 1.1%-2.8%]). Prevalence of in-hospital mortality among patients with hypertensive emergency was 9.9% (95% CI, 1.4%-24.6%). Conclusions Our findings demonstrate a pattern of hypertension-mediated organ damage primarily affecting the brain and heart, substantial cardiovascular renal morbidity and mortality, as well as subsequent hospitalization in patients with hypertensive emergencies presenting to the ED.

Keywords: emergency departments; hypertension‐mediated organ damage; hypertensive emergency; ischemic stroke; malignant hypertension.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Emergencies
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Heart Failure*
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Hypertension*
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage*