, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 366-373

Is It Possible to Manage Hypertension and Evaluate Therapy Without Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring?

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In the management of patients with hypertension, blood pressure (BP) has been traditionally measured in the physician’s office. The contribution of ambulatory BP monitoring (ABPM) to the management of hypertensive patients has been increasingly recognized through clinical and epidemiological research. Ambulatory BP monitoring can enhance the ability to detect white-coat or masked hypertension, determine the absence of nocturnal dipping status, and evaluate BP control in patients on antihypertensive therapy. Recently, the United Kingdom National Clinical Guideline Centre published guidelines for the clinical management of primary hypertension in adults, recommending the routine use of ABPM to make the initial diagnosis of hypertension. While the advantages of ABPM are apparent from a clinical perspective, its use should be considered in relation to the cost of the equipment, data evaluation, and staff training as well as the possible inconvenience to the patient. In this review, we summarize the clinical importance of ABPM and discuss the current guidelines for establishing the diagnosis of hypertension.