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, 68 (12), 1247-52

Prevalence and Implications of a Difference in Systolic Blood Pressure Between One Arm and the Other in Vascular Surgical Patients

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Prevalence and Implications of a Difference in Systolic Blood Pressure Between One Arm and the Other in Vascular Surgical Patients

J W Durrand et al. Anaesthesia.

Abstract

Inter-arm differences in blood pressure may confound haemodynamic management in vascular surgery. We evaluated 898 patients in the vascular pre-assessment clinic to determine the prevalence of inter-arm differences in systolic and mean arterial pressure, quantify the consequent risk of clinical error in siting monitoring peri-operatively and evaluate systolic inter-arm difference as a predictor of all-cause mortality (median follow-up 49 months). The prevalence of a systolic inter-arm difference ≥ 15 mmHg was 26% (95% CI 23-29%). The prevalence of an inter-arm mean arterial pressure difference ≥ 10 mmHg was 26% (95% CI 23-29%) and 11% (95% CI 9-13%) for a difference ≥ 15 mmHg. Monitoring could be erroneously sited in an arm reading lower for systolic pressure once in every seven to nine patients. The hazard ratio for a systolic inter-arm difference ≥ 15 mmHg vs < 15 mmHg was 1.03 (95% CI 0.78-1.36, p = 0.84). Large inter-arm blood pressure differences are common in this population, with a high potential for monitoring errors. Systolic inter-arm difference was not associated with medium-term mortality. [Correction added on 17 October 2013, after first online publication: In the Summary the sentence beginning 'We evaluated 898 patients' was corrected from (median (IQR [range]) follow-up 49 months) to read (median follow up 49 months)].

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