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Paroxysmal hypertension or pseudopheochromocytoma is a quite common problem in clinical practice. However, only little is known about general clinical characteristics, degree of blood pressure increase and symptoms of these patients.

Design and method:

We searched hospital records of patients referred to our department for symptomatic paroxysmal hypertension between April 2008 and October 2014. We reviewed demographic data, significant patient comorbidities, clinical symptoms accompanying paroxysmal hypertension, blood pressure (BP), heart rate and laboratory values.


We enrolled 64 patients, predominantly older women (81.3 %, mean age 67 years), of whom majority (89.1 %) also had a permanent (chronic) arterial hypertension and were treated by a mean of 3.1 antihypertensive drugs. Only a small proportion (23.4 %) had a history of a manifest cardiovascular disease prior enrollment. Mean baseline office BP was 147.6/83.8 mmHg. Most patients had hypertensive paroxysms on a weekly basis, mean BP during the paroxysm was 188.1/102.5 mmHg and this represented a mean 40 mmHg (30.1%) increase compared to their resting office systolic BP. With the exception of 4 (6.3 %) patients, who had only sole elevation of BP, most of patients experienced various accompanying symptoms during hypertensive paroxysms, of which most common were anxiety, palpitations, headache and chest pain (please see Table 1).


In paroxysmal hypertension the BP increase is usually substantial and accompanied by a wide range of other clinical symptoms. Further research and particularly establishment of effective therapy for this condition is warranted.

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