Clinical utility of routine investigations and risk factors of end-organ damage in asymptomatic severe hypertension
Asymptomatic severe hypertension is defined as systolic blood pressure of ≥ 180 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure of ≥ 120 mmHg without signs and symptoms of end-organ damage or dysfunction. Literature shows that around 5% of the patients with severe asymptomatic hypertension had acute hypertension-related end-organ damage. This study aimed to determine the clinical utility of routine investigations and risk factors of end-organ damage in patients presented to the emergency department with asymptomatic severe hypertension. This single-center, cross-sectional study was conducted at the emergency department of the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan, from January 2018 to December 2020. All adult patients (age ≥ 18 years) presented to the emergency department with a systolic blood pressure of ≥ 180 or diastolic blood pressure of ≥ 120 mmHg without any signs and symptoms of end-organ damage (e.g., chest pain, unilateral limb or facial weakness, or hemiplegia, altered mental status, shortness of breath, decreased urine output, and sudden-onset of severe headache) were included. Routine investigations were analyzed to detect end-organ damage, including complete blood count, basic metabolic panel, urine detailed report, electrocardiogram, and troponin-I. Multivariable binary logistic regression was applied to identify the risk factors of end-organ damage considering the significant p value of ≤ 0.05. A total of 180 patients were presented to the emergency department with asymptomatic severe hypertension during the study period. Among the total patients, 60 patients (33.3%) had abnormal investigation findings; out of them, new-onset end-organ damage was diagnosed in 15 patients (8.3%). The most common end-organ damage was the kidney (73.3%) followed by the heart (26.6%). The multivariable binary logistic regression showed that age of more than 60 years, past medical history of diabetes, ischemic heart disease, and cerebrovascular accident were significantly associated with a higher risk of end-organ damage (p < 0.05). The study identified a higher prevalence of abnormal routine investigations and acute end-organ damage in emergency department patients with asymptomatic severe hypertension compared to high-income countries and suggested a lower threshold for end-organ damage screening in these patients. The current recommendations of foregoing further workup in patients with asymptomatic severe hypertension may need modification for emergency departments in low-middle-income countries if similar associations are replicated in other settings
Publication ( Name of Journal)
Internal and Emergency Medicine
Soomar, S. M.,
Khan, B. A.,
Razzak, J. A.
(2023). Clinical utility of routine investigations and risk factors of end-organ damage in asymptomatic severe hypertension. Internal and Emergency Medicine, 18(7), 2037-2043.
Available at: https://ecommons.aku.edu/pakistan_fhs_mc_emerg_med/350