What does ambulatory blood pressure monitoring involve?
Blood pressure is measured over a 24-hour period, using auscultatory or oscillometry devices, and requires the use of a cuff. The monitor takes blood pressures every 20 minutes (less frequently overnight – eg, one-hourly).
What are the uses of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring?
- To obtain a twenty-four-hour record – more reliable than one-off measurements. Studies have shown that increased blood pressure readings on ABPM are more strongly correlated to end-organ damage than one-off measurements – eg, left ventricular hypertrophy.
- To detect white coat hypertension.
- It has used in hypertension research – eg, reviewing the 24-hour profile of antihypertensive medication.
- It may have the prognostic use – higher readings on ABPM are associated with increased mortality.
- Response to treatment.
- Masked hypertension.
- Episodic dysfunction.
- Autonomic dysfunction.
- Hypotensive symptoms whilst on antihypertensive medications.
- It may be more cost-effective in the long term than office blood pressure measurement.