Ambulatory blood pressure measurements

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Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) has emerged as a valuable clinical and research tool in the assessment of pediatric hypertension. Large databases of 24-hour blood pressure monitorings in healthy children are under development for establishing normal reference values analogous to the Task Force data for casual blood pressure. In the clinical setting, pediatric studies using ABPM to evaluate elevated blood pressure have shown that the prevalence of white coat hypertension in children is similar to that reported in adults. Furthermore, 24-hour blood pressure parameters are correlated with hypertensive end-organ injury such as left ventricular hypertrophy. ABPM has allowed detailed assessment of circadian blood pressure patterns that show early subtle abnormalities in some high-risk groups and normal patterns in other groups previously thought to be at high risk. These studies will assist in the practice of evidence-based medicine regarding pediatric hypertension that will improve the long-term care that pediatricians provide to their patients.

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