Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring

Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) involves measuring your blood pressure for 24 hours as you go about your daily routine and when asleep.

You wear a device that measures your blood pressure at regular intervals. The information is recorded on a chip in the device and allows the doctor to get a detailed picture of blood pressure variation in a normal environment.

Average daytime ABPM blood pressure is lower than equivalent blood pressure readings.

ABPM may be used:

  • when blood pressure levels show unusual variablility
  • when high blood pressure is resistant to drug treatment - three or more drugs
  • when symptoms suggest the possibility of low blood pressure due to over-treatment
  • to aid the diagnosis of high blood pressure related to anxiety in the clinical setting, known as 'white coat hypertension.

How should I prepare for the procedure and how is it performed?

Wear comfortable clothes. The ambulatory monitor will be applied just like a regular BP cuff, but it is worn for a 24 hr period and secured with  an ace wrap. The blood pressure cuff on the monitor can be worn under your clothes without anyone seeing it. It's a small machine, about the size of a portable radio. You wear it on a belt.  The picture below shows a person wearing an ambulatory blood pressure monitor.

Please go about your NORMAL DAILY ACTIVITIES.  The portable automatic blood pressure unit will measure and store your blood pressure and heart rate at predetermined intervals  (every 30 minutes during the day). Limit excessive physical activity whenever the ABP monitor beeps and the cuff begins to inflate. Keep your arm as still and relaxed as possible until the cuff is completely deflated.

In the evening, to be able to sleep take 1 tab Tylenol PM.  Please ensure that you return the monitor the following day at the same time.  Please be prompt, as it is booked for another patient who might be waiting