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What is ABPM?

Published Date : April 28, 2017

ABPM stands for Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring and it is a procedure which uses oscillometry or auscultatory methods to obtain blood pressure readings in every 20 minutes over a period of 24 hours. It should be noted that the frequency decreases during the night and reduces to an hourly rate. A graph of the systolic and diastolic pressures is prepared and blood pressure loads are identified so that future cardiovascular issues and organ damage can be predicted and prevented.

People suffering from acute hypertension which is poorly controlled, white coat hypertension, reversed white coat hypertension, postural hypertension and high risk patients are usually recommended to undergo an ABPM.

While normal ambulatory blood pressure is <135/<85 mm Hg during daytime, it is found to be<120/<70 mm Hg at night. Levels exceeding 140/90 mm Hg during the day and 125/75 mm Hg at night are considered abnormal and must be treated well.

ABPM finds its wide applications in detecting white coat hypertension, episodic dysfunction, autonomic dysfunction and masked hypertension. It is also found to be useful in research. Besides, the higher frequency of pressure measurement techniques make it more effective and allows better and precise treatment.

Side effects associated with ABPM include sleep disturbance and inflation and bruising at the site where the cuff is inserted for measurement of blood pressure. Besides, it needs specialised training and poor techniques might lead to poor readings. Also, long term costs is found to be higher than the normal pressure measurement techniques.

Though ABPM is found to be helpful in alleviating the conditions of people suffering from hypertension and making the treatment more effective and precise, researchers are of the opinion that the technique can be improved. Besides, proper examination of the patient should be done before an ABPM because some patients cannot tolerate it and might have adverse effects.

Disclaimer: The information given in this write-up is purely for educating the reader. It is not meant to be a substitute for any advice from a medical expert.