Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Lack of difference between malignant and accelerated hypertension.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986; 292 doi: (Published 25 January 1986) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986;292:235
  1. M E Ahmed,
  2. J M Walker,
  3. D G Beevers,
  4. M Beevers


    The clinical features and survival rates of 200 consecutive patients with malignant and accelerated hypertension admitted to a district hospital were investigated. Ninety five patients had bilateral haemorrhages and exudates and papilloedema (grade IV retinopathy) and 31 had bilateral haemorrhages and exudates with no papilloedema (grade III). A further 74 patients had bilateral retinopathy but failed to meet the criteria for grade IV or III and were investigated separately. No overall differences were found in survival when comparing the various grades of retinopathy. Cigarette smoking was significantly commoner only in grade IV patients compared with those with non-malignant hypertension matched for age, sex, and race. In patients with grade III retinopathy excess smoking was not statistically significant. In conclusion, the clinical features and survival rate showed that malignant and accelerated hypertension are one and the same disease.