How does malignant hypertension cause Papilloedema?

Malignant hypertension can cause papilledema (Figure 3), which is a result of both leakage and ischemia of arterioles supplying the optic disc that undergo fibrinous necrosis. Ischemia causes optic nerve edema, while leakage causes hemorrhage and disc edema.

Can hypertension cause Papilloedema?

Hypertensive retinopathy. ). The mechanism behind this phenomenon is poorly understood, but it may be related to a hypertension-related increase in intracranial pressure, and hence is considered true papilledema.

Is papilledema associated with hypertensive crisis?

The papilledema develops within days to weeks of elevated blood pressure and resolves within weeks to months of blood pressure normalization. Presence of papilledema and macular exudates are unique features in malignant hypertension that could alert physicians to this medical emergency.

What are the causes of papilledema?


  • A head injury.
  • A brain or spinal cord tumor.
  • Inflammation of the brain or any of its coverings, such as meningitis.
  • Extremely high blood pressure.
  • Bleeding in the brain.
  • A blood clot or a problem within certain veins.
  • Pus collecting from a brain infection.

Who gets malignant hypertension?

Malignant hypertension is rare. About 1% of people who have a history of high blood pressure develop this life-threatening condition. You are at greater risk of developing it if you are a man, African-American, or someone of lower economic status. Poor access to health care increases the risk.

What are the four stages of hypertension?

The 4 stages of hypertension are:

  • Elevated blood pressure levels between 120-129/less than 80.
  • Hypertension stage 1 is 130-139/80-89 mmHg.
  • Hypertension stage 2 is 140/90 mmHg or more.
  • Hypertensive crisis is higher than 180/120 or higher.

What is the difference between malignant hypertension and hypertensive emergency?

Malignant hypertension is the most severe type of high blood pressure. It qualifies as a hypertensive emergency. Blood pressure often exceeds 180/120 mm Hg, with the bottom number above 130 or 140 mm Hg. A hypertensive emergency affects the entire body, causing damage to multiple organs and organ systems.

Why is Papilledema an emergency?

When papilledema becomes chronic, the risk increases for permanent optic nerve damage and significant visual loss. If optic-nerve head swelling is noted, and increased ICP is suspected, immediate brain neuroimaging is mandatory.