Differences in Diagnosis and Management of Hypertensive Urgencies and Emergencies According to Italian Doctors from Different Departments Who Deal With Acute Increase in Blood Pressure-Data from Gear (Gestione Dell'emergenza e Urgenza in ARea Critica) Study.J Clin Med. 2022 May 25; 11(11)JC
Diagnosis and treatment of hypertension emergency (HE) and urgency (HU) may vary according to the physicians involved and the setting of the treatment. The aim of this study was to investigate differences in management of HE and HU according to the work setting of the physicians.
The young investigators of the Italian Society of Hypertension developed a 23-item questionnaire spread by email invitation to the members of Italian Scientific societies involved in the field of emergency medicine and hypertension.
Six-hundred and sixty-five questionnaires were collected. No differences emerged for the correct definitions of HE and HU or for the investigation of possible drugs that may be responsible for an acute increase in BP. The techniques used to assess BP values (p < 0.004) and the sizes of cuffs available were different according to the setting. Cardiologists more frequently defined epistaxis (55.2% p = 0.012) and conjunctival hemorrhages (70.7%, p < 0.0001) as possible presentation of HE, and rarely considered dyspnea (67.2% p = 0.014) or chest pain (72.4%, p = 0.001). Intensive care (IC) unit doctors were more familiar with lung ultrasound (50% p = 0.004). With regard to therapy, cardiologists reported the lowest prescription of i.v. labetalol (39.6%, p = 0.003) and the highest of s.l. nifedipine (43.1% p < 0.001). After discharge, almost all categories of physicians required home BP assessment or referral to a general practitioner, whereas hypertensive center evaluation or ambulatory BP monitoring were less frequently suggested.
Management and treatment of HE and HU may be different according to the doctor's specialty. Educational initiatives should be done to standardize treatment protocols and to improve medical knowledge.