Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring (ABPM) is when your blood pressure is being measured as you move around, doing your daily routine.
Ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) monitoring involves measuring blood pressure (BP) at regular intervals (usually every 20–30 minutes) over a 24 hour period while patients undergo normal daily activities, including sleep. The portable monitor is worn on a belt connected to a standard cuff on the upper arm and uses an oscillometric technique to detect systolic, diastolic and mean BP as well as heart rate. When complete, the device is connected to a computer that prepares a report of the 24 hour, day time, night time, and sleep and awake (if recorded) average systolic and diastolic BP and heart rate.
AMBULATORY BLOOD PRESSURE
Ambulatory BP monitoring is safe and is not usually associated with complications.
What are the indications?
Suspected white-coat hypertension (including in pregnancy)
Suspected masked hypertension (untreated subject with normal clinic BP and elevated ABP
Suspected nocturnal hypertension or no night time reduction in BP (dipping)
Hypertension despite appropriate treatment
Patients with a high risk of future cardiovascular events (even if clinic BP is normal)
Suspected episodic hypertension.
Ambulatory BP monitoring may also be useful for:
titrating antihypertensive therapy
hypertension detected early in pregnancy
suspected or confirmed sleep apnoea
syncope or other symptoms suggesting orthostatic hypotension, where this cannot be demonstrated in the clinic
Ambulatory BP monitoring provides a more reliable measure of a patient’s BP than isolated clinic measures and is not subject to the ‘white-coat effect’, which can overestimate BP, particularly in susceptible patients. While clinic measurement of BP is useful for screening, and in the management of suspected and true hypertension. Ambulatory BP and home BP measurements add considerably to the accurate diagnosis of hypertension and the provision of optimal care.