Neonatal hypertension: an educational review

Matthew W. Harer, Alison L. Kent*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)


    Hypertension is encountered in up to 3% of neonates and occurs more frequently in neonates requiring hospitalization in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) than in neonates in newborn nurseries or outpatient clinics. Former NICU neonates are at higher risk of hypertension secondary to invasive procedures and disease-related comorbidities. Accurate measurement of blood pressure (BP) remains challenging, but new standardized methods result in less measurement error. Multiple factors contribute to the rapidly changing BP of a neonate: gestational age, postmenstrual age (PMA), birth weight, and maternal factors are the most significant contributors. Given the natural evolution of BP as neonates mature, a percentile cutoff of 95% for PMA has been the most common definition used; however, this is not based on outcome data. Common causes of neonatal hypertension are congenital and acquired renal disease, history of umbilical arterial catheter placement, and bronchopulmonary dysplasia. The treatment of neonatal hypertension has mostly been off-label, but as evidence accumulates, the safety of medical management has increased. The prognosis of neonatal hypertension remains largely unknown and thankfully most often resolves unless secondary to renovascular disease, but further research is needed. This review discusses important factors related to neonatal hypertension including BP measurement, determinants of BP, and management of neonatal hypertension.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1009-1018
    Number of pages10
    JournalPediatric Nephrology
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


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