Diagnostic Tools

The European AIDS Clinical Society (EACS) make several recommendations relating to the diagnosis of hypertension.

The European AIDS Clinical Society (EACS) highlight several factors that should be taken into account when grading and managing hypertension.1 These include:

  • risk factors: age (>45 years for men; > 55 years for women), smoking or a family history of premature CV disease
  • target organ disease: left ventricular hypertrophy, ultrasound evidence of arterial wall thickening, or microalbuminuria
  • the presence of associated clinical conditions: CV disease, ischemic heart disease, renal disease, peripheral vascular disease, or advanced retinopathy

Although not specific to PLWHIV, guidelines on hypertension diagnosis and management from the European Society of Hypertension and European Society of Cardiology (ESH/ESC)2 suggest that diagnostic procedures should aim to:

  1. establish BP levels
  2. identify secondary causes of hypertension
  3. evaluate the overall CV risk by searching for other risk factors, target organ damage and concomitant diseases or accompanying clinical conditions.

In their recommendations, the ESH/ESC,2 as well as the United States Department of Health and Human Services (US DHHS)3 suggest that diagnostic procedures should consist of:

  • repeated BP measurements
  • medical history
  • physical examination
  • laboratory and instrumental investigations

Some of these procedures should also be considered part of the routine approach in all patients with high BP.

Download a list of factors associated with prognosis and their clinical definitions. 

For further information and recommendations on BP measurements, physical examination, laboratory tests, organ damage assessment and medical history access the ESH/ESC guidelines. 




  1. European AIDS Clinical Society (EACS).  Guidelines. Version 6.0. Accessed 3 July 2012.
  2. The task force for the management of arterial hypertension of the European Society of Hypertension (ESH) and of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). 2007 Guidelines for the Management of Arterial Hypertension. Eur Heart J. 2007;28:1462–1536.
  3. US Department of Health and Human Services. The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure. December 2003. Accessed 21 February 2011.