This is a distinctive form of hypertension characterised by vascular fibrinoid necrosis and loss of precapillary arteriolar autoregulation. It is a medical emergency as blood pressure may rise acutely - to a diastolic level greater than 130 mm Hg.
Suggested indications for referral to secondary care include:
identifying who to refer for same-day specialist review
Malignant hypertension may complicate the course of both essential and secondary hypertension. Occasionally, it may be the initial manifestation of high blood pressure.
Last edited 09/2019 and last reviewed 09/2019