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Ambulatory and home blood pressure monitoring and white coat hypertension in adults

Raymond R Townsend, MD
Section Editors
George L Bakris, MD
Bernard J Gersh, MB, ChB, DPhil, FRCP, MACC
Deputy Editors
Daniel J Sullivan, MD, MPH
John P Forman, MD, MSc


Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) is becoming increasingly recommended for routine clinical practice [1,2]. It may be particularly useful in evaluating the patient with variable blood pressure readings in the office or in the patient with wide discrepancies between the blood pressure readings at home and at the clinician's office (ie, "white coat" hypertension). ABPM and, in particular, nocturnal blood pressure readings may also provide prognostic data [3].

This topic provides an overview of ABPM, white coat hypertension, indications for ABPM, and the utility of ABPM in clinical practice. An overview of issues related to hypertension and the initial evaluation of hypertensive patients is presented separately. (See "Overview of hypertension in adults" and "Initial evaluation of the hypertensive adult".)


In accordance with published practice guidelines and expert panel recommendations, ABPM can be used in the following circumstances [4-6]:

Suspected white coat hypertension

Suspected episodic hypertension (eg, pheochromocytoma)

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Literature review current through: Sep 2017. | This topic last updated: Aug 28, 2017.
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