What are the main pathologic findings of hypertension (high blood pressure)?

Updated: Feb 22, 2019
  • Author: Matthew R Alexander, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Eric H Yang, MD  more...
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Answer

The main pathologic findings are in the heart, which shows an increase in mass caused principally by left ventricular hypertrophy. Histologically, the individual myocytes are enlarged and show nucleomegaly (“box car” nuclei) (see the image below). Hearts that are enlarged secondary to hypertension have an increased incidence of arrhythmia and death. Other cerebrovascular manifestations of complicated hypertension include hypertensive hemorrhage, hypertensive encephalopathy, lacunar-type infarctions, and dementia.

Hypertension. Hypertrophied cardiac myocytes with Hypertension. Hypertrophied cardiac myocytes with enlarged "box car" nuclei.

Hypertensive encephalopathy is one of the clinical manifestations of cerebral edema and microhemorrhages seen with dysfunction of cerebral autoregulation and is characterized by hypertension, altered mentation, and papilledema.


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