Feature Article

Management of elevated BP: ambulatory versus office monitoring

Mark R Nelson



The management of elevated blood pressure is moving away from a doctor taking a single measurement during a consultation and managing hypertension based solely on this measurement. The increasing availability of oscillometric and ambulatory blood pressure machines and the promotion of an absolute risk-based approach will revolutionise how elevated blood pressure is measured and managed.

Key Points

  • Mercury sphygmomanometers are being phased out.
  • New oscillometric devices allow blood pressure to be more accurately measured within and outside the clinic.
  • Elevated blood pressure is best diagnosed and managed according to ambulatory measures.
  • When ambulatory oscillometric devices are unavailable, impractical or unaffordable, home and clinic measures using oscillometric devices or older calibrated devices following strict measurement protocols are valid alternatives.