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Preventing misdiagnosis of ambulatory hypertension: algorithm using office and home blood pressures

Shimbo, Daichi; Kuruvilla, Sujith; Haas, Donald; Pickering, Thomas G.; Schwartz, Joseph E.; Gerin, William

Objectives—An algorithm for making a differential diagnosis between sustained and white coat hypertension (SH and WCH) has been proposed–patients with office hypertension undergo home blood pressure monitoring (HBPM) and those with normal HBP levels undergo ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM). We tested whether incorporating an upper office blood pressure (OBP) cutoff in the algorithm, higher than the traditional 140/90 mmHg, reduces the need for HBPM and ABPM. Methods—229 normotensive and untreated mildly hypertensive participants (mean age 52.5 ± 14.6, 54% female) underwent OBP measurements, HBPM, and 24-hour ABPM. Using the algorithm, sensitivity (SN), specificity (SP), and positive and negative predictive values (PPV, NPV) for SH and WCH were assessed. We then modified the algorithm utilizing a systolic and diastolic OBP cutoff at a SP of 95% for ambulatory hypertension –those with office hypertension but OBP levels below the upper cutoff undergo HBPM and subsequent ABPM if appropriate. Results—Using the original algorithm, SN and PPV for SH were 100% and 93.8%. Despite a SP of 44.4%, NPV was 100%. These values correspond to SP, NPV, SN, and PPV for WCH respectively. Using the modified algorithm, the diagnostic accuracy for SH and WCH did not change. However, far fewer participants needed HBPM (29 vs. 84) and ABPM (8 vs. 15). Conclusions—In this sample, the original and modified algorithms are excellent at diagnosing SH and WCH. However, the latter requires far fewer subjects to undergo HBPM and ABPM. These findings have important implications for the cost-effective diagnosis of SH and WCH.


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Also Published In

Journal of Hypertension

More About This Work

Academic Units
Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health
Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins
Published Here
April 29, 2016