, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 143-149
Date: 17 Apr 2013

Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring in Children and Adolescents: Coming of Age?

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Over the last years, ambulatory blood pressure monitoring has been introduced into the pediatric population, contributing to a significant increase in the bulk of knowledge of crucial clinically relevant issues. Guidelines have established the currently known conditions where ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is useful and where it will provide additional information in children and adolescents. How common and important the intra-individual differences are within clinical and ambulatory blood pressure is the keystone to the use of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring as a diagnostic tool. By using not only office, but also ambulatory blood pressure, four possible situations arise. Two of these have values in agreement for normotension or hypertension. Two have values that are discrepant. The latter two are known as white coat and masked hypertension. The relationship with hypertension-induced organ damage, the prognostic value and the assessment of treatment goals are key issues of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. In children, the accurate identification of hypertension at the earliest possible age would, therefore, give health-care providers the opportunity to initiate preventive measures, thereby reducing the chance of developing end-organ damage and its attendant morbidity and mortality.