(From the August 2017 newsletter)
In November 2016, NICE published its guidance on hypertension in adults which suggests 24 hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring in the diagnosis of hypertension. ABPM should be measured in children before treating. It lessens the “white coat” effect and, if their BP is normal while asleep at night, the clinician can be fairly reassured that there is not likely to be a significant underlying cause for their hypertension.
Caveat:- you must get the cuff size right! The largest cuff which can fit on the arm should be used (2/3 the length of the upper arm, bladder 80-100% of the arm circumference). Small cuffs overestimate the blood pressure.
The centile charts for day and night blood pressures are available here at the bottom of the European consensus document. I have also uploaded them to the primary care guidelines tab. The 95th centile is the upper limit of normal. Values are gender specific and are set out according to heights and ages.
Lurbe E et al. 2016 European Society of Hypertension guidelines for the management of high blood pressure in children and adolescents. J Hypertens. 2016 Oct;34(10):1887-920