Office blood pressure measurement types: Different methodology-Different clinical conclusions

J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2018 Dec;20(12):1683-1685. doi: 10.1111/jch.13420. Epub 2018 Nov 7.


The measurement of blood pressure in the office (OBP) remains the basis for hypertension diagnosis and management for more than half a century. Despite the increasing use of out-of-office blood pressure measurement using home and less so ambulatory monitoring and their endorsement by hypertension societies, at present and for some time to come it is likely that in many people the diagnosis and management of hypertension will be based on OBP measurement alone. OBP measurement is a very variable method affected by multiple factors, which have major impact on the OBP level, reproducibility and prognostic ability. Thus, there are several types of OBP measurement, depending on the device type, conditions, observer's presence and the number of readings. The 4 main OBP types are: Type I: Auscultatory OBP in clinical practice; Type II: Automated attended OBP in clinical practice; Type III: Research setting OBP; Type IV: Unattended automated OBP. These OBP types have different standardization level, different reproducibility, different clinical relevance and different thresholds for hypertension diagnosis. Unless the methodological details of OBP measurement are reported, any conclusions based on such measurements in clinical research and in practice are questionable.

MeSH terms

  • Auscultation / instrumentation
  • Auscultation / methods
  • Automation / instrumentation
  • Automation / methods
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Blood Pressure Determination / instrumentation
  • Blood Pressure Determination / methods*
  • Blood Pressure Monitoring, Ambulatory / methods
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diagnosis*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Office Visits / statistics & numerical data*
  • Oscillometry / instrumentation
  • Oscillometry / methods
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / trends
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Reproducibility of Results