24 hour Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor (ABPM)

24 hour Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor (ABPM) measures your blood pressure at regular intervals over a 24 hour period.

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Test Description

What is it?

24 hour Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor (ABPM) is a device which measures your blood pressure at regular intervals over a 24 hour period. It allows us to assess what the pattern of your blood pressure is over a 24 hour period  in your usual environment.

At the time of arrival the patient will have the monitor fitted. Your patient should bathe or shower prior to this appointment as they will not be able to bathe while the monitor is attached.

Patients are generally unrestricted in their daily activities.


Why do in need this?

A 24 hour Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor monitor is used to assess blood pressure in a more accurate way than a “one-off” reading in a doctor’s surgery.

It may be used to investigate the following;

  • to predict the risk of cardiovascular disease (heart attack and stroke) related to elevated levels of blood pressure more accurately.
  • To help confirm or exclude the diagnosis of hypertension (high blood pressure).
  • To assess or monitor the effectiveness of treatments for high blood pressure
  • To investigation low blood pressure

What to expect

A technician will place the blood pressure cuff on your non-dominant arm.  A test blood pressure will be performed to set the baseline for the 24hr test.

The cuff on your arm will automatically inflate tightly, every 30 minutes during the daytime and then reset to hourly measurements overnight (10pm – 6am).

The procedure does not impair your ability to drive.

Please remember to keep your arm relaxed during inflations, to allow accurate recording. In patients with lymphoedema of the arm or patients at risk of lymphoedema (eg prior breast cancer) your other arm is generally used. Please mention this to the medical staff at the time of fitting if this applies to you.

You will wear be required to wear the device for approximately 24 hours and return the monitor to the clinic the following day at the specified time.


What do I do during the test?

You should go about your activities in a normal manner. The technician will provide you with a diary to complete. You should make an entry every time your feel symptoms like chest pain, dizziness, shortness of breath or heart palpitations. You should record the time symptoms occurred, what symptoms occurred and what you were doing at the time. Please return the diary with your device the following day.


What are the risks?

This is a very safe non-invasive test. The cuff on your arm will automatically inflate tightly, several times each hour (not as frequently overnight). Some patients may experience a minor discomfort from the blood pressure cuff when it inflates.  How high the cuff inflates is directly dependent on how high your blood pressure is.

No specific preparation is required. Wearing a loose-fitting top will assist in this process. Please bring an up to date medication list to the appointment.

Preparation Details

(Approximately 15 minutes duration)

We suggest bathing prior to your appointment as you will be wearing the device for 24 hours and cannot bathe with the device.

We suggest a loose fitting top for convenience when fitting the device.​


 

What Happens After The Test?

The blood pressure readings obtained are downloaded and analysed. The results are made available to your referring doctor. Urgent results will be communicated directly by telephone.

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