Hypertension Target Organs.

Hypertension (aka sustained high blood pressure) is called the Silent Killer because it can degrade health in a slow and less than obvious way. Hypertension can act in the "background", degrading many organs. For this reason, I have been taught to preform full physicals on patients with hypertension to monitor their target organs. It's amazing how interconnected the body is; when you suffer from one health concern (e.g. hypertension), the whole body can be at risk. More on hypertension here.

Target organs and what I would look for during a physical exam:

Neck - increased jugular venous pressure, goiter, look for the jugular veins pulsating more than normal, listen to carotid arteries for bruits
Skin - look for excessive bruising, edema, striae (a sign of Cushing's syndrome), and/or hirsutism
Eye - hemorrhages, cotton-wool spots, exudate, nicking, copper wiring, or narrowing on the retina, papilledema (swelling of the optic nerve)
Lungs - look for masses, pulmonary embolism , chronic cough
Heart - hypertrophy (increased in size), murmurs, extra heart sounds (S3 and/or S4)
Abdomen - coarctation of aorta (blockage of major artery passing through abdomen)
Kidney - increase in size, renal artery blockage and bruits, polycystic kidney disease

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