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Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring

What is it?

Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) is a portable blood pressure machine worn for about 24 hours. A computer activates the blood pressure cuff regularly (shown left) to take your blood pressure whilst you are undertaking normal daily activities.

Why is it Performed?
ABPM is performed on people who have high blood pressure (hypertension) that is difficult to control with medication or on people with variable blood pressure. Patients with suspected 'white coat hypertension' often undergo this test. These patients often have high blood pressure only when visiting the doctor.

How is Ambulatory Blood Pressure Performed?
You will wear a small device on a belt or around your neck. This connects to a blood pressure cuff fitted to your upper arm. At intervals throughout the day and night (for 24 hours) the recorder inflates the cuff tightly on your arm to take a blood pressure measurement. The computer stores these measurements for later analysis.

How Long Will Fitting Take?
A technician will fit the device taking no longer than 10 to 20 minutes. During the fitting, they will explain the procedure and provide you with all necessary instructions. Removal of the recorder takes only a couple of minutes, when you return the device the following day.

What Should I Wear?
You should wear loose fitting clothes, especially around the upper arm. You are not required to undress fully. If possible, please wear a blouse or shirt which buttons at the front - this allows easier fitting of the equipment.

What Else Do I Need To Know?
The technician may ask you to keep a diary to keep a record of any symptoms that you experience during the recording period. You cannot shower whilst wearing the monitor.