Information for Consumers - Hypertension

This article tells you about hypertension and how it is diagnosed, including what imaging tests you may need to have.

What is hypertension?

Hypertension is high blood pressure. High blood pressure usually does not cause any symptoms. However, some symptoms of hypertension are:

  • Headache
  • Palpitations
  • Tiredness
  • Vision changes

What causes hypertension?

There is usually no specific cause, however, in some people hypertension is due to:

  • Underlying kidney disease or disease of the arteries to the kidneys (renovascular hypertension)
  • Disease of the adrenal glands


Your doctor will discuss the signs and symptoms of your hypertension. If he/she thinks that your hypertension is due to an underlying problem in the kidneys and adrenal glands then you may need an imaging test called a doppler ultrasound.

Depending on your doppler ultrasound your doctor may request a CT scan, MRI scan or nuclear medicine renal scan.


A radiology doctor will look at your scans and write a report for your doctor.

Further information

For more detailed information, please access InsideRadiology at:

This is a resource produced especially for consumers by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists:

A guide to gathering information that you may need for making informed decisions is published by the Consumers' Health Council of Australia at:

If you would like to look at other relevant articles, please access the following:

Or access the Diagnostic Imaging Pathways website at:

Or if you have questions or require any other information please contact your doctor.

Consumer participation

This information has been reviewed by representatives from the following groups:

  • Aboriginal people
  • People with disabilities
  • Seniors
  • CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse)
  • The Health Consumers' Council


All feedback, comments and suggestions regarding consumer information at Diagnostic Imaging Pathways are welcome. Please direct them to the following email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


This article is intended as general information only. The Department of Health cannot accept any legal liability arising from its use. The information is kept as up-to-date and accurate as possible, but please be warned that it is always subject to change


© Copyright 2017, Department of Health Western Australia. All Rights Reserved. This article and its content has been prepared by Radiology Across Borders and is protected by copyright.

Date reviewed: July 2017

Date of next review: July 2019