Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor

Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (APBM) involves wearing a small, portable, digital device attached to a belt and connected to a blood pressure cuff. The device takes your blood pressure every 15 to 30 minutes for 14 to 16 hours while you perform your conscious and unconscious tasks, like eating and sleeping. Measuring blood pressure in a routine environment for set intervals gives your doctor a clear picture of how your blood pressure is changing throughout the day. The environment is extremely important, as undue stress, such as a clinic setting, can create inaccurate results.

Your doctor may refer you for this exam if they suspect you have borderline blood pressure problems, difficulty controlling your blood pressure, or symptoms related to high, low, or fluctuating blood pressure.

Sometimes ambulatory blood pressure monitor exams are used to evaluate how well your medication is stabilizing your blood pressure. As such, your blood pressure might be higher at night or too low during the day. These fluctuations can be directly related to improper doses.

What Happens During my ABPM?

  • On the first day of your exam, you will be fitted with a belt that holds a small monitoring device that is about the size of a small radio.
  • The device will be hooked up to a blood pressure cuff on your arm and will measure your blood pressure throughout the day. The device can be worn under clothing.
  • The next day you will return the device in the morning, between 7:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
  • Please be advised that you are responsible for the cost of this exam when we hook up the blood pressure monitor.
    • This exam costs $90. Alberta Health Care does not cover this exam when performed outside of a hospital.
  • The information will be reviewed by our on-site cardiologist and the results will be sent to your doctor as soon as possible.

Cost

Alberta Health Care does not cover the cost of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring outside of the hospital. This exam costs $90 and is performed at Insight’s Meadowlark Cardiac Lab.

Duration

An ambulatory blood pressure monitoring exam typically takes 30 minutes to complete on day one - approximately 10 to 20 minutes to set up the device and 10 minutes for paperwork.

The patient must return the device the next morning between 7:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Removing the device only takes five minutes.

Exam Preparation

Being prepared for your Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor helps us take the best possible diagnosis. Please visit our exam prep page for more instructions specific to Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor preparation.