Continuous vs intermittent blood pressure measurements in estimating 24-hour average blood pressure

Marco Di Rienzo, Guido Grassi, Antonio Pedotti, Giuseppe Mancia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the past few years noninvasive automatic blood pressure (BP) recorders have been increasingly used to estimate patients' 24-hour BP more accurately than by one or few isolated measurements. However, these recorders only allow BP to be intermittently measured at intervals between 5 to 30 minutes, which means that the number of values collected over 24 hours (10 to 100) remains a tiny fraction of the thousands of values that occur during the same period. To determine whether this represents a limitation to this approach, BP was recorded intraarterially for 24 hours (Oxford method) in 20 ambulant hypertensive patients. A beat-to-beat analysis of the BP recording was provided by a computer, and the average 24-hour systolic, diastolic, and mean BP values were compared with those obtained by analyzing single BP waves of the same recording at intervals of 5,10, 15, 30, and 60 minutes. In each subject the average 24-hour BP values obtained by the beat-to-beat analysis closely corresponded to those obtained by the analysis performed at 5-, 10-, 15-, or 30-minute intervals. In most subjects, this was the case also when the analysis was performed at 60-minute intervals. These findings demonstrate that intermittency of measurements does not limit the accurate assessment of true average BP. Indeed, accurate assessment can be achieved at intervals as much as 30 or 60 minutes apart.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-269
Number of pages6
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1983


  • Automatic blood pressure recording
  • Blood pressure variability
  • Intraarterial blood pressure recording

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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