An ambulatory blood pressure monitor is a small device that you wear throughout the day, usually
for 24 or 48 hours. The device takes your blood pressure automatically while you do your normal daily activities.
The device periodically inflates and takes blood pressure
measurements, which are recorded for later printout and analysis. The devices
are usually loaned by a clinic, hospital, or pharmacy.
Your doctor might ask you to use one of these monitors after measuring your blood pressure in the doctor's office, to make sure that you actually have high blood pressure. This is because your blood pressure can change during the day. And sometimes blood pressure is higher only because you are seeing a doctor. This is called white-coat hypertension. To diagnose high blood pressure, your doctor needs to know if your blood pressure stays high throughout the day.
If you are required to use an ambulatory blood pressure monitor, keep
in mind that it is important for a health professional to properly size the
cuff, which fits around your arm. Fitting does not take long.
Weber MA, et al. (2013). Clinical practice guidelines for the management of hypertension in the community. Journal of Clinical Hypertension. DOI: 10.1111/jch.12237. Accessed December 19, 2013.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerStephen Fort, MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology