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June 4, 2003

Accurate Measurement of Blood PressureAccurate Measurement of Blood Pressure

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2003;289(21):2792-2794. doi:10.1001/jama.289.21.2792-a

To The Editor: Dr Jones and colleagues1 stated that indirect blood pressure measurement using oscillometric technique was based on measurement of mean arterial pressure, in which systolic and diastolic components are calculated according to an empirically derived algorithm. However, oscillometric devices may attempt to determine diastolic (and sometimes systolic) pressure values by analysis of the oscillometric waveform as the cuff pressure declines.2 Another potential source of error of this method involves the effect of the rate of deflation relative to the heart rate.3 If the deflation rate is too rapid or the heart rate is too slow (eg, in patients receiving β-blockers), the oscillometric device will be unable to make an accurate determination.3