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High Blood Pressure

Tumors and high blood pressure

05/26/2000

Question:

The patient is a female of approximately 68 years of age - she has been diagonosed as having pituitary gland disorders thus she has 3 brain tumors. The brain tumors are very painful. with headaches becoming more and more severe. She is also having problems with her blood pressure. Every test indictive to an elevated blood pressure has been taken. She is a retired R.N. so can attest to the doctor`s evaluation and study. She is also inclined to believe the tumors in some way related to the blood pressure problem. Question: Could this be possible and could you indicate a test for this? - Thank you - We will be anxiously awaiting your reply.

Answer:

There are several ways by which pituitary tumors can cause high blood pressure. The pituitary gland regulates several hormone systems. Depending on which system is involved, the patient may have excess cortisone (called Cushing`s syndrome), excess growth hormone (called acromegaly) or thyroid hormone (causing hyperthyroidism). All theses conditions can cause high blood pressure. In addition, a brain tumor can increase the pressure inside the brain. Such an elevated intracranial pressure can cause headaches and high blood pressure by itself. Detailed tests of hormone levels and imaging studies of the brain (CT scan and MRI) are necessary to determine the cause of high blood pressure in such patients.

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Response by:

Max C Reif, MD Max C Reif, MD
Professor of Medicine
Director of Hypertension Section
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati