Purpose of review: The appropriate treatment targets for individuals with elevated blood pressure (BP) have received increased attention in light of recent clinical trial results. However, it is well known that the method used to measure BP can have a significant impact on the observed BP. In this review, we summarize the existing literature on the impact of BP measurement technique on observed BP readings.
Recent findings: Manual BPs obtained in-clinic routinely differ from those obtained using automated devices. Further, clinic-based readings (either manual or automated) typically correlate poorly with readings from ambulatory BP monitoring or home-based devices. However, few studies utilize randomization or sound experimental design to explore differences in BP readings by method or technique. While numerous studies report differences in BP by method, most lack statistical rigor and therefore provide limited insight into the true effect of technique on BP measurements.
Keywords: Ambulatory blood pressure; Automated office blood pressure; Guidelines; Measurement technique.