A multi-centre case series of patients with coexistent intracranial hypertension and malignant arterial hypertension

Victoria Sattarova, Alexis Flowers, Sidney M. Gospe, John J. Chen, Leanne Stunkel, M. Tariq Bhatti, Michael Dattilo, Sachin Kedar, Valerie Biousse, Collin M. McClelland, Michael S. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To describe the clinical characteristics, outcomes, and management of a large cohort of patients with concomitant malignant arterial hypertension and intracranial hypertension. Methods: Design: Retrospective case series. Subjects: Patients aged ≥ 18 years with bilateral optic disc oedema (ODE), malignant arterial hypertension and intracranial hypertension at five academic institutions. Patient demographics, clinical characteristics, diagnostic studies, and management were collected. Results: Nineteen patients (58% female, 63% Black) were included. Median age was 35 years; body mass index (BMI) was 30 kg/m2. Fourteen (74%) patients had pre-existing hypertension. The most common presenting symptom was blurred vision (89%). Median blood pressure (BP) was 220 mmHg systolic (IQR 199–231.5 mmHg) and 130 mmHg diastolic (IQR 116–136 mmHg) mmHg), and median lumbar puncture opening pressure was 36.5 cmH2O. All patients received treatment for arterial hypertension. Seventeen (89%) patients received medical treatment for raised intracranial pressure, while six (30%) patients underwent a surgical intervention. There was significant improvement in ODE, peripapillary retinal nerve fibre layer thickness, and visual field in the worst eye (p < 0.05). Considering the worst eye, 9 (47%) presented with acuity ≥ 20/25, while 5 (26%) presented with ≤ 20/200. Overall, 7 patients maintained ≥ 20/25 acuity or better, 6 demonstrated improvement, and 5 demonstrated worsening. Conclusions: Papilloedema and malignant arterial hypertension can occur simultaneously with potentially greater risk for severe visual loss. Clinicians should consider a workup for papilloedema among patients with significantly elevated blood pressure and bilateral optic disc oedema.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-278
Number of pages5
JournalEye (Basingstoke)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2024


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