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Editor's Correspondence
February 8, 1999

Accuracy of an Automated Blood Pressure Device Under Conditions of the Head-up Tilt Test

Arch Intern Med. 1999;159(3):317. doi:

In their article, Shuler et al1 reported on substandard estimates of blood pressure (BP) with the IVAC model 4200 automated device compared with the "true" indirect BP measured by the mercury manometer (MM). Concerns have been raised regarding the accuracy of various automated BP measuring devices.2 We assessed the Colin BP-8800 (Colin Corporation, Hayashi, Japan) automated oscillometric BP device in comparison with the MM, under special conditions of the head-up tilt test. The tilt test comprises phases of supine rest and postural challenge.3 The BP was measured at 5-minute intervals, initially in the supine position for 10 minutes, followed by head-up tilt to 70° for 45 minutes with the arm supported at heart level, and again in supine position for 10 minutes. For the MM, BP readings were taken according to the American Heart Association recommendations.4 The BP was assessed simultaneously with the automated device (AU) and the MM by connecting both instruments to a common cuff. Dual sets of earpieces were used for MM determinations by 2 observers (J.E.N. and A.L.). In 11 patients, 165 triple BP measurements were completed independently.