Dr Brian A Gould

Cardiac Procedures

24 Hour Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring

Your doctor may recommend 24 hour blood pressure monitoring for a variety of reasons. It is not unusual for your blood pressure to be high on one reading and low the next. This may be due to 'white coat hypertension', where your blood pressure rises when you visit your doctor. One way around this common problem is with 24 hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, which will help to decide whether you require long-term treatment with medication for high blood pressure. It may also be used to assess the response of your blood pressure to medication. By lowering your blood pressure, this medication may reduce the risk of developing heart disease, having a heart attack or a stroke.

An inflatable cuff is strapped to your arm and connected to a small device which inflates the cuff at set intervals throughout the day and night whilst you do your normal daily activities at home or work. The recorder stores this information which is later transferred to a computer and a report is generated. A graph of your blood pressure against time is plotted (see below) and averages of your 24 hour blood pressure during the day and night are calculated. It is these average blood pressures which help to decide if you would benefit from blood pressure lowering treatment. They may also be used to determine how well you have responded to medication.

A graph to show blood pressure over 24 hours

A graph to show blood pressure over 24 hours