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.1 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.
- Suspected white-coat hypertension (including in pregnancy)
- Suspected masked hypertension (untreated subject with normal clinic BP and elevated ABP)
- Suspectednocturnalhypertensionornonighttime 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
- borderline hypertension
- 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.