RESEARCH – February 2004

Changes in mean finger pressure during sphygmomanometry in normotensive and hypertensive patients


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Sphygmomanometric recordings of arterial blood pressure induce alerting reaction and thus increase in the patient’s blood pressure and heart rate. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether and to what extent this “white-coat” effect is accompanied by detectable changes in finger blood pressure in patients with normal and elevated blood pressure level. Five sphygmomanometric measurements were made using the Omron M4 automated oscillometric blood pressure monitor. The first and the fifth measurements were performed with the subject in the sitting position and three measurements with the subject in the supine position. During 30 minutes of supine rest, in addition to three sphygmomanometric measurements, finger blood pressure was measured continuously in the right hand using a modified oscillometric method. Cardiovascular responses during sphygmomanometric measurements were higher in hypertensive patients, depending on the specific meaning of the procedure for each individual. The drop in blood pressure after the supine rest was most pronounced in the normotensive group indicating the importance of an adequate rest period before blood pressure measurement.