Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring
What is Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring?
Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is a non-invasive way for your doctor to obtain measurements of your blood pressure readings over a 24-hour period to see how your blood pressure compares while you are in your own environment and doing your usual daily activities. This method allows your doctor to detect abnormal change in your blood pressure that might go unnoticed if only measured during a regular office visit. Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring helps your doctor find out if you only have high blood pressure when you’re in the doctor’s office and you might be anxious or fearful in a medical setting. This is called “white coat” hypertension.
Why an Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring?
Ambulatory monitoring is an important tool for your doctor to obtain a true reflection of your blood pressure by ruling out “white coat” hypertension so that you aren’t prescribed unnecessary medication for high blood pressure. It can detect masked hypertension so that you can get proper treatment and medications. It is also used to evaluate your response to your prescribed antihypertensive medications.
Your doctor may recommend ambulatory BP monitoring if:
- You have “borderline” hypertension.
- You have difficulty controlling your BP with your current medication.
- You are pregnant and have hypertension.
- You have changes in your other prescriptions that may affect your BP.
- You have low BP.
Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring Potential Risks and Complications
There are no risks to ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. You may be a little sore from the frequent BP checks or a rash from having the BP cuff on for 24 hours.
What to Expect
What to Expect During an Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring
Your doctor will ask you to wear a small portable monitoring device on your belt for 24 hours, and the BP cuff is worn under your clothes. The device will record your BP every 30 minutes. Your doctor may also ask you to keep an activity log so that information about your activities, and when you are resting or sleeping, can be correlated to your BP. After the 24-hour period, your information will be downloaded to a computer so your doctor can make further recommendations as to your treatment plan.