24 Hour Ambulatory BP monitor
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a common risk factor for the development of cardiovascular and kidney disease as well as for stroke. However it is well recognised that blood pressure measured as a one off reading in the clinic can result in an incorrect diagnosis of hypertension. In cases where it is unclear whether hypertension is definitely present, 24 hour blood pressure monitoring can give a more reliable answer.
In this test a BP measuring cuff is applied to the upper arm of the patient in the usual manner. The cuff is connected to a small BP monitoring device which is then taken home by the patient and returned the following day. The device automatically inflates the cuff and records the BP at regular intervals during the day, and less frequently overnight, and gives a printout of instantaneous and average BP readings over the recording period. The advantage is that BP is recorded in a more natural setting for the patient when he or she is more likely to be relaxed, thus giving a more accurate idea of the true BP readings.
The test is usually used to confirm a diagnosis of hypertension, or to monitor the efficacy of medication on getting the BP back down to the normal range.