24 HOUR AMBULATORY BLOOD PRESSURE MEASUREMENT (ABPM) USES A BLOOD PRESSURE CUFF, MEMORY CARD AND SMALL BATTERY DRIVEN PUMP
Blood pressure measurements made in the doctors surgery are useful but do have some limitations. They are really only a ‘snapshot’ of your blood pressure and can also be influenced by anxiety (white coat effect).
A series of home blood pressures performed using an automatic blood pressure monitor can be helpful and can give useful information.
When making important decisions about blood pressure management and drug treatment however a 24 hour recording is usually considered the most thorough approach. A 24 hour ambulatory blood pressure monitor (ABPM) typically measures your blood pressure every regularly for a 24 hour period. This reduces the ‘white coat effect’ and usually gives more reliable information on which to base decisions.
It is important to be aware however that ABPM usually gives a lower BP than surgery readings and allowance needs to be made for this when looking at thresholds for treatment and measuring adequacy of treatment.
All test results should be treated with caution and interpreted in the context of a clinical assessment.