Ambulatory blood pressure
Measures blood pressure at regular intervals for 24 hours...
Ambulatory BP

Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring (ABPM) is when your blood pressure is being measured as you move around, living your normal daily life. It is normally carried over 24 hours. It uses a small digital blood pressure machine that is attached to a belt around your body and which is connected to a cuff around your upper arm. It is small enough that you can go about your normal daily life and even sleep with it on.

Why need a 24-hour monitoring

By measuring your blood pressure at regular intervals over 24 hours, your doctor is able to get clear pictures of how your blood pressure changes throughout the day. There are number of reasons why your doctor might suggest this test:

To confirm the diagnosis of hypertension with patient being symptomatic with borderline high blood pressure at clinic which usually don’t require treatment.
It is recommended when person having high blood pressure readings in the clinic whereas normal at home (called the “white coat effect”) or reverse.
To see how well your medicines are working in patient with high blood pressurethroughout the day.
Poorly controlled hypertension eg. Suspected drug resistance.
To evaluate control of blood pressure in patient having target organ damage in spite of well controlled blood pressure according to clinical reading.
High risk patients like Diabetic patients, Kidney transplant recipient, those with cerebrovascular disease.
Elderly patients with systolic hypertension.
As a part of screening program.
To evaluate the patient with labile hypertension.
Pre preparation

No special preparations required for this test. Only thing which is recommended is you should take bath prior to application of machine as you can’t bath or swim after starting of the test.

Precautions to be taken during the test
To watch the tube to the machine should not be twisted or bent.
You should avoid doing for the day; are swimming and having a bath or shower.

The data stored in machine was reviewed and interpreted by trained doctor and further treatment plan modified by patient’s treating doctor.

How the test is done?

Normally the machine is fitted at your local hospital / clinic outpatients department. A digital machine and a cuff are the part of this ambulatory BP recording. A cuff is wrapped around your upper arm which is to be kept for 24 hours and it is attached to a digital machine taking & recording blood pressure. A digital machine takes your blood pressure by inflating a cuff and then slowly releasing the pressure.The machine is small enough to be worn on a belt on your waist while the cuff stays on your upper arm for the full 24 hours.

The machine takes blood pressure readings at regular intervals throughout the day: usually, every 15-30 minutes during the daytime and 30-60 minutes at night. Just before the machine is about to take a reading, it will beep. At that time, you should sit down if possible,Keep the cuff at the same level as your heart and keep arm steady.

Because the test is being carried out to find out what your normal daily blood pressure is, it is important to carry on with your normal routine activities. You will also be asked to keep a diary of what you were doing just before the reading was taken, what time you went bed and got up and if and when you took medications.Some people find 24-hour ABPM distracting and uncomfortable: if you feel like this when the readings are being taken, speak your doctor or nurse as it may affect your reading.

At the end of the 24 hours you can remove the machine and cuff and give it back to the hospital or clinic. The machine will have stored all your readings and these will then be analyzed.