What is the incidence of hypertensive encephalopathy in acute poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis (APSGN)?

Updated: Dec 05, 2018
  • Author: Rajendra Bhimma, MBChB, MD, PhD, DCH (SA), FCP(Paeds)(SA), MMed(Natal); Chief Editor: Craig B Langman, MD  more...
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Hypertensive encephalopathy can be the presenting feature of postinfectious glomerulonephritis. This condition has been reported in approximately 5% of hospitalized children and is the most serious early complication of this disease. In these patients, hypertension is usually severe and is accompanied by signs of central nervous system (CNS) dysfunction such as headache, vomiting, depressed sensorium, confusion, visual disturbances, aphasia, memory loss, coma, and convulsions. The mechanism of hypertension is most likely retention of sodium and water with resulting expansion of the extracellular space. [52]

Hypertensive encephalopathy has been reported in the occasional individual with minimal or no edema and with minimal urinary abnormalities. Since the urinalysis in such patients exhibits minimal abnormalities, the underlying cause may not be readily apparent. A high index of suspicion is required to make an appropriate diagnosis.

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