December 1953


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Physiology, University of Illinois College of Medicine.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1953;92(6):889-896. doi:10.1001/archinte.1953.00240240125009

THE PATHOGENESIS of essential hypertension is still unknown, although progress toward an answer has been made in the past 20 years. According to one view, hypertension is a sign of disease, as are fever and leucocytosis, and "essential" is expressive of our ignorance of its pathogenesis; on this basis, essential hypertension should be regarded as a term comparable to "fever of unknown origin." This view suggests that essential hypertension may be a genus composed of several still undifferentiated species or types of hypertension, which formerly included the hypertensions due to pheochromocytomas, adrenocortical tumors, and renal abnormalities. Another view regards essential hypertension as a definite disease entity with varied manifestations chiefly dependent upon the body areas of localization and degree of progress of the underlying vascular disease process. While this concept is held by a minority of those working in the field, presently available evidence is as supportive of a single

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