Ambulatory Blood pressure monitoring (ABPM)

Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM)
Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) is a new technique for measuring blood pressure. ABPM enables the doctor to assess blood pressure during your routine daily activities, instead of when a patient is sitting in front of the doctor. ABPM is very helpful in identifying whether a person has hypertension or not because on some occasions blood pressure readings taken in the doctor’s clinic may not be a true representation of a person’s hypertension status. BP varies from time-to-time during the day and also varies with place and situation where the reading was conducted.
How is ABPM done?
Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is done with a special device that consists of a blood pressure cuff that is worn on the arm, which is attached to a small recording device that is worn on the belt. ABPM device is worn for 24 or 48 hours, and it records blood pressure periodically (at 15 or 30-minute intervals) during your routine activities and even while you are sleeping. ABPM provides your doctor with a complete record of your blood pressure for a one or two day period.
How is ABPM different from normal Blood pressure evaluation?
The information provided by ABPM is quite different from the information that the doctor gets by measuring your blood pressure in the clinic. The blood pressure recording is a single value that is meant to reflect your blood pressure during rest time. But, given the busy environment of most doctors’ offices these days, the readings may not always be correct. ABPM, in contrast, evaluates your blood pressures through a wide range of situations and activities — from walking to running to sleeping. Blood pressure fluctuates during the many activities a person typically performs in a day. Therefore, unlike the blood pressure recorded at the doctor’s clinic, the ABPM does not record merely a single value for blood pressure that supposedly represents your official “blood pressure.” Instead, it evaluates a wide range of highly variable values throughout the course of the day.
Why do I need ABPM?

Ambulatory BP monitoring can find out abnormal variations in BP that may go unnoticed when it is measured at the doctor’s office. It is very useful in detecting white coat hypertension, sustained hypertension and masked hypertension:

White coat hypertension: Some people have elevated BP readings when their BP is measured at the doctor’s clinic or hospital. This is called “white coat hypertension.” It can result in misdiagnosis of patients whose BP is otherwise normal. White coat hypertension has been observed in 15%-30% of patients with high BP readings. Therefore, when ABPM yields BP readings within the normal range, those patients do not need to take antihypertensive medicines.

Sustained hypertension: If BP readings are elevated whether the patient is in the clinic or at home, it is called sustained hypertension. This condition has been linked to an increased risk of heart and kidney diseases.

Masked hypertension: This condition happens when a patient’s blood pressure is normal at the clinic/ hospital but is elevated at home. It may occur in around 20% of people who are taking medicines for hypertension.

What are the benefits of ABPM?
ABPM can help in ruling out white coat hypertension so that patients are not given unnecessary medications for lowering BP. It can also identify masked hypertension so that patients can follow the treatment needed for high blood pressure. The incidence and risk of heart disease, stroke and organ damage due to high blood pressure can also be reduced among those patients. Ambulatory monitoring is also useful in assessing the response of antihypertensive medications.
ABPM at RxDx Multispeciality Clinic
Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring device is available at RxDx Multispeciality Clinic. Therefore if you are suffering from high blood pressure and you want it to be evaluated via ABPM, talk to a physician or cardiologist at RxDx and get it done. A 24 to 48 hours monitoring of Blood pressure gives your doctor a clear picture of your BP throughout the day. It helps the doctor in determining the correct treatment for your specific condition.

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