Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring in children: A large center's experience

Iqtidar A. Khan, Mukesh Gajaria, Derek Stephens, John Williamson Balfe

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52 Citations (Scopus)


Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) is well established in adults and is becoming common in children. We reviewed 190 ABPM studies retrospectively (since 1990) to assess the failure rate, and analyzed the data from 97 patients 5-19 years old (1992-1996) to review the experience gained from the use of this technique in children and adolescents. Seventeen percent (32/190) of studies failed. Most children accepted ABPM, provided it was clearly explained in advance. There were differences between day and night readings of systolic blood pressure (BP), diastolic BP, and heart rate. BP did not correlate with height or weight. 'White coat' effect apparently exists in children: clinic systolic BPs were higher than daytime systolic ABPM (no difference in diastolic). Eighty-nine percent (86/97) had an elevated BP load (> 30% of readings > 95th percentile). The antihypertensive medications of 16% (16/97) of patients were changed after ABPM. The nocturnal fall in BP (expressed as a percentage of the individual mean daytime values) was approximately normally distributed and was independent of age and height. Nocturnal systolic and diastolic dipping were closely correlated. Attenuation of nighttime dipping was observed in children with kidney disease and those with organ transplants. There is a need for normative data for ABPM for North American children. In our study, the technique was useful in selected cases, such as borderline or secondary hypertension, and for therapeutic monitoring when BP control is difficult.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)802-805
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric Nephrology
Issue number8-9
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring
  • Circadian rhythm
  • Hypertensive children
  • Nocturnal dipping
  • Twenty-four-hour blood pressure monitoring


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