Royal Sussex County Hospital. Princes Royal Hospital. Hove Polyclinic. Sussex Universities



Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring

What is ABPM ?
Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring (ABPM) is a non-invasive method of obtaining blood pressure readings over twenty four hours, whilst the patient is in their own environment, representing a true reflection of their blood pressure.
Blood pressure is characterized by a clear circadian rhythm, the natural 24-hour rhythm set by the body's "biological clock." Blood pressure normally rises in the early morning, varies during the day depending on activity and falls during sleep.
While blood pressure readings taken occasionally at the doctor's office may be able to signal a problem, ABPM provides a more comprehensive picture of actual blood pressure status. It's also a better predictor of organ damage and heart problems caused by hypertension than a standard blood pressure test. This means you and your doctor have solid information to rely on when considering treatment options.

What does ABPM involve?
The blood pressure is measured over twenty four hours using auscultatory or oscillometry and requires use of a cuff. The monitor takes blood pressures every 30 minutes during the day and every hour during the night.

What are the uses of ABPM?
1. To get a twenty four hour record which is more reliable than one off measurements.
2. Avoid white coat hypertension.
3. Reproducible and reliable results
4. May be more cost effective in the long-term.

Will I be able to go about my normal life?
Wearing a monitor doesn't interfere with daily activities. The monitors are lightweight, comfortable to wear and quiet. A cardiac technician will program the device to automatically measure your blood pressure throughout the day and night. You will have an inflatable cuff worn on one arm and a recording device about the size of a Sony Walkman worn at the waist. In combination with monitoring, the technician will ask you to keep a diary about what time you wake up or go to sleep, when you eat meals, experience strong emotions, stress, take medication, exercise or have other experiences that can affect your blood pressure.


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