24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitor (ABPM)
A diagnosis of hypertension is usually confirmed after at least 3 elevated recordings, taken on separate days and different times. There are occasions when a diagnosis of hypertension is not clear, either due to borderline readings or commonly 'white-coat syndrome' whereby the blood pressure is higher in a doctor's clinic due to stress and anxiety.
24-hour ambulatory blood pressure readings
In these situations, regular automated home recording of the blood pressure, over a 24-hour period, can provide very useful information to both make an accurate diagnosis and assess response to treatment. The test is carried out by fitting a blood pressure cuff and monitor and taking regular automatic blood pressure recordings throughout the day and night.
After the 24-hour period is completed, the monitor is returned for detailed analysis. The results can help decide whether there is a new diagnosis of hypertension or whether the treatment for an existing diagnosis of hypertension should be further optimised.