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Ambulatory BP Monitoring

Ambulatory BP Monitoring - Dr. Kedar Kulkarni

What is Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) by Dr. Kedar Kulkarni?

is a relatively new technique for assessing a person’s blood pressure. ABPM allows a doctor to assess your blood pressure during your routine daily living, instead of when you are sitting nervously on the doctor’s examination table.

ABPM is most helpful in deciding whether a person actually has hypertension when the blood pressure readings taken in the doctor’s office are highly variable or are otherwise puzzling. In particular, ABPM has been used to assess people with “white coat hypertension” triggered by the stress of a medical appointment.

What are the benefits?

By measuring your blood pressure at regular intervals up to 24 hours, your doctor is able to get a clear idea of how your blood pressure changes throughout the day. Also, because you are able to carry on with your normal routine, it avoids the problems of ‘white coat’ syndrome.

How is it performed?

This type of blood pressure measurement is similar to your usual blood pressure measurement: an electronic monitor takes your blood pressure by inflating a cuff around your upper arm and then slowly releasing the pressure. Normally, the monitor is fitted at your local hospital outpatient department or GP surgery. The monitor will be started by the nurse/health professional. It will be placed inside a protective cover and it is important that it remains in this for the duration of the monitoring. The machine then takes blood pressure readings at regular intervals throughout the day. Normally this is around every 15-30 minutes during the daytime and 30-60 minutes at night but may vary between different clinics. If asked, you will need to keep the monitor on throughout the night; many people put the machine under the pillow or on the bed while they sleep. At the end of the monitoring period, you can remove the machine and cuff and give it back to the hospital or surgery. The machine will have stored all your readings and these will then be analyzed.

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