The pulse oximeter is commonly used in the operating room. We evaluated the use of a pulse oximeter to monitor systolic blood pressure in 20 healthy volunteers and 42 anesthetized patients. We compared the pulse oximeter method of measuring systolic blood pressure with the cuff methods using Korotkoff sounds and Doppler ultrasound as well as with direct pressure measurement through an intraarterial cannula. Systolic blood pressure values obtained by pulse oximeter correlated well with values obtained by other conventional methods. The best correlation was found with Doppler ultrasound (r = 0.996) and the worst with arterial cannulation (r = 0.880). We conclude that this method can be used intraoperatively to measure systolic blood pressure.