Feature Article

Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring: beyond the simple BP

Patrick G Lan, Adrian G Gillin

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Abstract

Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) is a vital tool in the diagnosis and management of hypertension. A systematic approach is required to properly interpret an ABPM recording.

Key Points

  • Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) is a useful tool in diagnosing and managing patients with an elevated clinic blood pressure (BP) reading.
  • ABPM assesses a patient’s BP more accurately than clinic measurements and provides additional key information about the patient’s BP profile, including daytime (awake) and night-time (asleep) BP.
  • ABPM can identify patients with masked hypertension (hypertension not detected by clinic BP measurements).
  • Key results from ABPM must be identified to interpret a recording; these include the number of valid BP measurements, average daytime and night-time BPs, BP load and nocturnal dipping pattern.

    Picture credit: © Welch Allyn Australia

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