Blood pressure Holter (assessment exams)

Content

Introduction

The blood pressure holter is a non-invasive, painless diagnostic test that allows you to measure blood pressure at regular intervals throughout a day and record the results; uses the same principle as measuring pressure through an instrument called sphygmomanometer.

The blood pressure holter is in fact a small portable sphygmomanometer, capable of operating autonomously after initial ignition. It consists of an inflatable band (sleeve) connected via a rubber cable to a small meter that has an internal memory in which it records the result of each individual recording.

The pressure holter allows you to verify the existence or to follow over time:

  • unstable high blood pressure (arterial hypertension)
  • high blood pressure treated with drugs
  • high blood pressure from a white coat, ie of an emotional nature, caused by "anxiety or" agitation due to the execution of the exam
  • symptoms associated with sudden and marked changes in blood pressure

The exam

The application of the pressure holter, painless and non-invasive examination, is normally carried out in a specialist facility; a cuff connected to a sphygmomanometer and to an instrument that records the data of blood pressure measurements is applied to the person who has to undergo it, usually placed in a special pocket that can be attached around the waist through a belt.Once the installation is complete, the instrument is calibrated, which consists of comparing a measurement made by means of a standard sphygmomanometer and a measurement made by means of the pressure holter meter; if the two results coincide, it means that the portable sphygmomanometer is well calibrated and works well. At the end of the calibration phase the person can go home.

The meter is held for 24 hours and blood pressure is automatically recorded approximately every 30 minutes. It is important to wear comfortable clothes that are easy to take off and put on (sweaters and sweaters); this reduces the risk of bumping or moving the instrument that measures blood pressure, causing it to malfunction.

During this period it is important to note in detail (clinical diary) any data useful for the interpretation of the exam such as work activity, physical activity, perceived disorders, particular moments of stress, meals, sleep, all associated at the relevant times.

After 24 hours, the pressure holter is removed and returned to the specialist facility with the clinical diary. The cardiologist evaluates the data of the recordings by comparing them with the notes on the activities carried out and delivers the results (report) together with the prescription of treatments or other tests, if necessary.

No preparation is required before undergoing the investigation. Once the pressure holter has been applied, however, it is important to carry out all normal daily activities, avoiding intense physical activities (sports).

The person should remain still as much as possible while the hand-held sphygmomanometer measures blood pressure; this warning is easy to follow, the inflation phase of the sphygmomanometer is easily recognizable; it is also not possible to take a shower or a bath, so it is good practice to wash before the exam so that there is no such need in the following hours.

Results

The results of the examination allow the doctor to have an accurate picture of the presence of any changes in blood pressure in the 24 hours resulting from the measurements taken over a prolonged period and can, therefore, highlight anomalies that cannot be detected with a single measurement.

If the results confirm that the blood pressure recorded is abnormal, the doctor may recommend treatment or re-check (monitoring) on ​​a periodic basis.

Bibliography

Humanitas Gavazzeni. Blood pressure Holter

In-depth link

Guidelines of the Italian Society of Arterial Hypertension on the conventional and automatic measurement of blood pressure in the doctor's office, at home and in the 24 hours. Edition 2008

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