2020 Nov 21. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan–.
A hypertensive emergency is an acute, marked elevation in blood pressure that is associated with signs of target-organ damage. These can include pulmonary edema, cardiac ischemia, neurologic deficits, acute renal failure, aortic dissection, and eclampsia.
If the patient has acute worsening of organ function, then the blood pressure needs to be decreased aggressively. In all other cases, the blood pressure should be lowered gradually to prevent dysfunction of the brain from low perfusion.