Utility of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring in children and adolescents
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Diagnosis of hypertension is critically dependent on accurate blood pressure measurement. “Accurate” refers to carefully following the guidelines for blood pressure measurement laid out for children and adults to minimize observer and subject errors that commonly occur in clinical blood pressure measurement. Accurate blood pressure measurement is more important in children and adolescents as the misdiagnosis of hypertension may have a life-long adverse impact on insurability and employment. Automated blood pressure measurement offers multiple advantages in achieving high-quality blood pressure determinations by reducing observer errors. The most commonly used form of automated blood pressure measurement is 24-h ambulatory blood pressure measurement (ABPM). Information on ABPM in children has grown exponentially over the last decade. Normative data exists for diagnosis of hypertension in children using ABPM including a novel method for determining normal values with the LMS method. There is further information about the utility of different determinants of 24-h blood pressure such as dipping status, morning surge and blood pressure load. ABPM has been able to detect significant differences in blood pressure in many disease states in children including chronic renal failure, polycystic kidney disease, solitary functioning kidney, and after renal transplantation. Increasingly nonambulatory automated blood pressure determinations have been used in management of hypertension in children. Although nonambulatory automated readings lack information about nocturnal blood pressure or blood pressure during daily activity, studies have suggested that home automated blood pressure measurements are a helpful adjunct to the usual office blood pressure reading.