Catecholamine-induced hypertensive crises: current insights and management

Matthew A. Nazari, Rockyb Hasan, Mark Haigney, Alireza Maghsoudi, Jacques W.M. Lenders, Robert M. Carey, Karel Pacak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Phaeochromocytomas and paragangliomas (PPGLs) release catecholamines leading to catecholamine-induced hypertensive (CIH) crises, with blood pressure greater than or equal to 180/120 mm Hg. CIH crises can be complicated by tachyarrhythmias, hypotension, or life-threatening target organ damage while treatment remains undefined, often requiring co-management between endocrinologists and cardiologists. Furthermore, biochemical diagnosis of a PPGL as a cause of a CIH crisis can be difficult to identify or confounded by comorbid conditions, potentially resulting in misdiagnosis. Here, we combine relevant evidence, 60 years of collective clinical experience, insights derived from assessing over 2600 patients with PPGL, and supplementary outcomes from 100 patients (treated at the National Institutes of Health) with a CIH crisis to inform diagnosis and treatment of CIH crises. Recognising that disparities exist between availability, cost, and familiarity of various agents, flexible approaches are delineated allowing for customisation, given institutional availability and provider preference. A CIH crisis and its complications are readily treatable with available drugs, with effective intervention defining an avenue for mitigating consequent morbidity and mortality in patients with PPGL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)942-954
Number of pages13
JournalThe Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes


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