Inpatient Hypertension Services

A nephrologist is a doctor who, in addition to treating patients with kidney problems, also helps diagnose and treat hypertension (high blood pressure).

Your hospital based physicians may refer you to one of our specialists for a variety of reasons.

Some patients experience episodes of accelerated or “malignant” hypertension. This is when the blood pressure spikes to extremely high levels making it difficult to control, often warranting intravenous blood pressure lowering drugs. It may be accompanied by headache, chest pain, confusion or kidney problems. Our specialists will assist in lowering the pressures in a safe manner, and identify why these episodes are occurring. Many will have what is termed as "resistant hypertension." This is when a patient is on at least three antihypertensives (blood pressure medicines) including a diuretic (water pill) and still has not achieved optimal blood pressure control.

Other individuals may have hormonal imbalances or problems with their adrenal glands which may contribute to their poorly controlled hypertension. Some common prescription medications can worsen blood pressure control as well. Another form of hypertension may involve narrowing or “stenosis” of the renal arteries which supply fresh blood to the kidneys.

Signs that you may have one of these forms of “secondary” hypertension include:

  • A sudden lack of blood pressure control after having been well controlled for a prolonged period.
  • New onset of hypertension at a young age (Age <40).
  • New onset of hypertension in the elderly (Age >70).
  • Bouts or spikes of uncontrolled blood pressure which may land a patient in the emergency room on one or more occasions.
  • Hypertension associated with metabolic abnormalities or electrolyte disorders such as low potassium level.

Your Renal Hypertension Center physician may have you perform blood work, urine studies, and possible imaging tests of your kidney’s arteries to find out what might be driving your elevated blood pressures.

We will also tailor a blood pressure medication regimen that is individualized to your body’s physiology.