Current Drug Therapy

Assessing hypertension management: The role of 24-hour blood pressure monitoring

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The first fully automatic portable invasive blood pressure recorder was developed 30 years ago. Today, portable noninvasive ambulatory blood pressure devices are capable of measuring blood pressure intermittently for periods of 24 to 48 hours.


To discuss the utility of automatic ambulatory blood pressure recording in assessing antihypertensive therapy.


Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is helpful in assessing the pharmacodynamics and the clinical efficacy of antihypertensive drugs. It is superior to office blood pressure measurement in predicting hypertensive end-organ disease. In clinical trials, ambulatory blood pressure monitoring permits a more varied population to enter a study, the number of subjects required is often reduced, and a placebo control group may be unnecessary.


The various methods of analyzing ambulatory blood pressure data should be used in a complementary fashion to evaluate antihypertensive drug therapy. We believe that this technique will soon become much more commonly used for hypertension management.


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