During Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM), a portable blood pressure machine is worn continuously for 24 hours. The machine is able take your blood pressure (BP) whilst you are undertaking normal daily activities.
You will wear a small device on a belt. This connects to a blood pressure cuff fitted to your upper arm, just above the elbow. At intervals throughout the day and night the recorder inflates the cuff tightly on your arm to take a blood pressure measurement during the 24-hour monitoring period. The computer stores these measurements for later analysis by the technician.
Because it’s a non-invasive test, it is not painful. However, rarely, some individuals may have mild discomfort as the blood pressure cuff inflates around the arm. It is usually well tolerated by most patients.
ABPM is especially useful in individuals with difficult to control BP and in those with variable blood pressure. Anxiety during clinic visits or hospital stay may falsely elevate your BP. 24-hour continuous monitoring as you undertake your usual daily activities gives the doctor a more accurate picture about your BP.