Manual blood pressure (BP) is gradually disappearing from clinical practice with the mercury sphygmomanometer now considered to be an environmental hazard. Manual BP is also subject to measurement error on the part of the physician/nurse and patient-related anxiety which can result in poor quality BP measurements and office-induced (white coat) hypertension. Automated office (AO) BP with devices such as the BpTRU (BpTRU Medical Devices, Coquitlam, BC) has already replaced conventional manual BP in many primary care practices in Canada and has also attracted interest in other countries where research studies using AOBP have been undertaken. The basic principles of AOBP include multiple readings taken with a fully automated recorder with the patient resting alone in a quiet room. When these principles are followed, office-induced hypertension is eliminated and AOBP exhibits a much stronger correlation with the awake ambulatory BP as compared with routine manual BP measurements. Unlike routine manual BP, AOBP correlates as well with left ventricular mass as does the awake ambulatory BP. AOBP also simplifies the definition of hypertension in that the cut point for a normal AOBP (< 135/85 mm Hg) is the same as for the awake ambulatory BP and home BP. This article summarizes the currently available evidence supporting the use of AOBP in routine clinical practice and proposes an algorithm in which AOBP replaces manual BP for the diagnosis and management of hypertension.
Copyright © 2012 Canadian Cardiovascular Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.