Categories of BP Among Adults

  • Normal: SBP<120 mm Hg and DBP <80 mm Hg
  • Elevated: SBP 120-129 mm Hg and DBP <80 mm Hg
  • Hypertension Stage 1: SBP 130-139 mm Hg or DBP 80-89 mm Hg
  • Hypertension Stage 2: SBP ≥140 mm Hg or DBP ≥90 mm Hg

Guidelines for Conducting Ambulatory BP Monitoring (ABPM)

  • Training
    • Provide knowledge about BP measurements that can be obtained through ABPM
    • Provide training in the specialized equipment, techniques, and devices needed to conduct ABPM
    • Provide training in preparing patients for ABPM
    • Train clinicians to prepare/initialize devices for recording
    • Train clinicians to fit the device, cuff, and tubing on the patient
    • Train clinicians in ABPM software and downloading data
  • Devices, cuffs, and equipment
    • Use validated upper-arm cuff oscillometric devices
    • Use a cuff that is the appropriate size for the patient’s nondominantarm
    • Use new or recharged batteries
  • Patient preparation and instruction
    • Provide instruction on what ABPM involves and how to cope with the procedure
    • Inform patients that ABPM may disrupt sleep
    • Inform patients to avoid showering and swimming, and tell them not to remove the ABPM device, cuff, and tubing
    • Tell patients to follow their usual daily activities, but to keep their body still during each BP measurement
    • Provide a brief summary of ABPM procedures on a reference card
    • Teach the patient how to refit the cuff if it migrates from its ideal position
    • Show the patient how to place the device on the bed or beneath a pillow during sleep
    • Show the patient how to turn off the device in case of malfunction
    • Provide instructions for filling out a diary documenting sleep and awakening times, times of antihypertensive medication intake, occurrence of symptoms, and meals
  • Frequency and number of readings
    • Every 15-30 minutes during the 24 hour period (48-96 total readings)
  • Duration of monitoring
    • Ideal period is 24 hours
  • Analyzing readings
    • Commonly-recommended criteria are ≥20 readings during the day and ≥7 readings during the night, but an ABPM recording with fewer may still be valid
    • For each period (day, night, and 24 hours), calculate the average of all readings

Guidelines for Home BP Monitoring (HBPM)

  • Patient training provided by clinicians
    • Provide information on hypertension diagnosis and treatment
    • Provide information on proper device selection
    • Teach patients how to measure their own BP
    • Instruct patients to bring the HBPM device and BP readings to healthcare visits
    • Teach patients that individual BP readings may vary greatly during the monitoring period
  • Preferred devices and cuffs
    • A validated upper-arm cuff oscillometric device
    • A device that can automatically store all readings
    • A device that can print results or electronically send BP values to clinicians
    • A cuff that is appropriately sized for the patient’s arm circumference

This article originally appeared on The Cardiology Advisor