Reintroduction of Riva-Rocci measurements to determine systolic blood pressure?

Neth J Med. 2008 Dec;66(11):480-2.


Introduction: In 1896, Riva-Rocci introduced the upper arm cuff to measure systolic blood pressure. In 1905, Nicolai Sergeivich Korotkoff added the auscultatory technique, allowing measurement of both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Both methods have, to our knowledge, never been formally tested against each other. In this study, we want to fill this gap in history.

Methods: We measured systolic blood pressure by the Korotkoff sound technique and approximated the Riva-Rocci technique by measuring cuff pressure at the moment that the first pulsation became visible in Finapres readings, at the finger. This proxy of the Riva-Rocci technique allows an objective, offline, analysis. Measurements were performed simultaneously on the same arm in 57 subjects.

Results: Systolic blood pressure measured by the Korotkoff sound technique was 167+/-30 mmHg (mean +/-SD ). Systolic blood pressure according to the Riva-Rocci technique was 165+/-32 mmHg. The Riva-Rocci technique underestimated measurements with the Korotkoff technique by 1.8+/-4.4 mmHg (NS, p=0.79).

Conclusion: Riva-Rocci measurements of systolic blood pressure may be as good as the traditionally used Korotkoff measurements.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Blood Pressure Determination / instrumentation
  • Blood Pressure Determination / methods*
  • Female
  • Heart Auscultation
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diagnosis*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged