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July 11, 1994

Variability in Indirect Blood Pressure Measurement

Author Affiliations

Augusta, Ga

Arch Intern Med. 1994;154(13):1536. doi:10.1001/archinte.1994.00420130134017

In their recent article concerning indirect measurement of blood pressures, Bailey and Bauer1 emphasize the importance of collection technique on the variability of indirect blood pressure measurements. In their conservative discussion of 24-hour automated blood pressure (ABP) monitoring (ABPM), the authors express a lack of confidence in the accuracy and reproducibility of ABPM, in part because of our experience with repeatability of ABPM during one of our research projects.2 However, to fully appreciate the reproducibility of ABPM, the variability of office blood pressures (OBPs) using a standard mercury sphygmomanometer should be presented in comparison. We presented a direct comparison of the variability of office and 24-hour ABPs in a subsequent article,3 which, although not referenced by the authors, contributes new information on the variability of indirect blood pressures and, thus, deserves comment.

For the purposes of this discussion, reliability of blood pressures for an individual can be

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