Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor
The ambulatory blood pressure monitor (ABPM) is a non-invasive method of measuring blood pressure for 24 hours while the patient continues his daily activities. It includes the measuring device and the cuff, while the recorded values will be analyzed after the end of 24 hours, using special software.
What is the use of 24-hour monitoring?
- 24-hour recording (by pressure monitor) may be more reliable than individual measurements at home or in the office.
- In detecting “white coat’ hypertension (increased blood pressure in the clinic but normal throughout the rest of the day)
- To control the response to treatment
- To detect masked hypertension (normal blood pressure values at the clinic but increased the remainder of the day)
- For research purposes
Which patients should be referred for Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor?
According to the guidelines of the European Cardiology Society issued in 2013, a 24-hour indication for ABPM have:
- Patients who are suspected of having a white coat hypertension or masked hypertension
- Patients with significant blood pressure variability in the clinic, on the same or different visits
- Pregnant with suspicion of preeclampsia or with increased blood pressure in the clinic
- Patients with resistant hypertension, to figure out if it is true or not
- If there was a significant discordance of blood pressure recorded in the office with that recorded at home.
- But also patients with hypertension at night (patients with sleep apnea, chronic kidney disease or diabetes)
What are the normal values?
Normal values in the 24-hour recording are lower than those performed in the clinic. Normal values are <135 / <70 mmHg during the day, while at night the values should be <120 / <70 mmHg.
How often are the measurments?
Blood pressure measurements are usually done every 15-30 minutes during the day and every 30 to 60 minutes during the night.
Are there any disadvantages using ambulatory blood pressure monitor?
As with any examination, there are limitations and drawbacks.
- Restrictions on availability
- Technical difficulties, related to the training of the doctor, who makes the recording
- Inability of many patients to tolerate the cuff for 24 hours.
- Sleep disorder due to device-generated noise.
- Arrhythmias, which may affect the results.
Ioannis Tzanogiorgis, Cardiologist, Athens