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Accuracy of cuff-measured blood pressure: Systematic reviews and meta-analyses


Picone, DS and Schultz, MG and Otahal, P and Aakhus, S and Al-Jumaily, AM and Black, JA and Bos, WJ and Chambers, JB and Chen, C-H and Cheng, H-M and Cremer, A and Davies, JE and Dwyer, N and Gould, BA and Hughes, AD and Lacy, PS and Laugesen, E and Liang, F and Melamed, R and Muecke, S and Ohte, N and Okada, S and Omboni, S and Ott, C and Peng, X and Pereira, T and Pucci, G and Rajani, R and Roberts-Thomson, P and Rossen, NB and Sueta, D and Sinha, MD and Schmieder, RE and Smulyan, H and Srikanth, VK and Stewart, R and Stouffer, GA and Takazawa, K and Wang, J and Westerhof, BE and Weber, F and Weber, T and Williams, B and Yamada, H and Yamamoto, E and Sharman, JE, Accuracy of cuff-measured blood pressure: Systematic reviews and meta-analyses, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 70, (5) pp. 572-586. ISSN 0735-1097 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 American College of Cardiology Foundation

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2017.05.064


Background: Hypertension (HTN) is the single greatest cardiovascular risk factor worldwide. HTN management is usually guided by brachial cuff blood pressure (BP), but questions have been raised regarding accuracy.

Objectives: This comprehensive analysis determined the accuracy of cuff BP and the consequent effect on BP classification compared with intra-arterial BP reference standards.

Methods: Three individual participant data meta-analyses were conducted among studies (from the 1950s to 2016) that measured intra-arterial aortic BP, intra-arterial brachial BP, and cuff BP.

Results: A total of 74 studies with 3,073 participants were included. Intra-arterial brachial systolic blood pressure (SBP) was higher than aortic values (8.0 mm Hg; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 5.9 to 10.1 mm Hg; p < 0.0001) and intra-arterial brachial diastolic BP was lower than aortic values (-1.0 mm Hg; 95% CI: -2.0 to -0.1 mm Hg; p = 0.038). Cuff BP underestimated intra-arterial brachial SBP (-5.7 mm Hg; 95% CI: -8.0 to -3.5 mm Hg; p < 0.0001) but overestimated intra-arterial diastolic BP (5.5 mm Hg; 95% CI: 3.5 to 7.5 mm Hg; p < 0.0001). Cuff and intra-arterial aortic SBP showed a small mean difference (0.3 mm Hg; 95% CI: -1.5 to 2.1 mm Hg; p = 0.77) but poor agreement (mean absolute difference 8.0 mm Hg; 95% CI: 7.1 to 8.9 mm Hg). Concordance between BP classification using the Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure cuff BP (normal, pre-HTN, and HTN stages 1 and 2) compared with intra-arterial brachial BP was 60%, 50%, 53%, and 80%, and using intra-arterial aortic BP was 79%, 57%, 52%, and 76%, respectively. Using revised intra-arterial thresholds based on cuff BP percentile rank, concordance between BP classification using cuff BP compared with intra-arterial brachial BP was 71%, 66%, 52%, and 76%, and using intra-arterial aortic BP was 74%, 61%, 56%, and 65%, respectively.

Conclusions: Cuff BP has variable accuracy for measuring either brachial or aortic intra-arterial BP, and this adversely influences correct BP classification. These findings indicate that stronger accuracy standards for BP devices may improve cardiovascular risk management.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:blood pressure determination, hemodynamics, sphygmomanometers
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Cardiovascular medicine and haematology
Research Field:Cardiology (incl. cardiovascular diseases)
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Picone, DS (Dr Dean Picone)
UTAS Author:Schultz, MG (Dr Martin Schultz)
UTAS Author:Otahal, P (Mr Petr Otahal)
UTAS Author:Black, JA (Professor John Black)
UTAS Author:Dwyer, N (Dr Nathan Dwyer)
UTAS Author:Peng, X (Miss Xiaoqing Peng)
UTAS Author:Roberts-Thomson, P (Dr Philip Roberts-Thomson)
UTAS Author:Srikanth, VK (Dr Velandai Srikanth)
UTAS Author:Sharman, JE (Professor James Sharman)
ID Code:122270
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:81
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2017-11-07
Last Modified:2018-06-22

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