Body Structures Determining Differences in Forearm and Upper Arm Blood Pressures
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The first purpose of this study is to see how blood pressures taken at different sites, specifically the forearm, upper arm and heart vessels, are different. The second purpose is to see if body structures such as vessel size and depth, size of the arm, and amount of tissue in the arm influence differences in blood pressures taken at these sites. The third purpose is to develop a mathematical model of the waves generated by the arm arteries (brachial and radial) to predict differences in forearm and upper arm blood pressures. The results of the study may be used to design more accurate non-invasive blood pressure monitors for the forearm site.
Condition or disease
Accurate blood pressure (BP) measurement is required to provide appropriate healthcare. Inaccurate BPs may lead to under and/or over-treatment of health conditions and medical diseases such as hypertension. Blood pressure (BP) measurement using automatic, non-invasive oscillometric monitors is common in clinics, physicians'offices and hospital settings. The brachial (upper arm) site is the gold standard for non-invasive BPs. However, in some situations, this site is inaccessible due to injury, surgery, dialysis shunts, intravenous devices, and lymphedema. When the upper arm is difficult to access or the available BP cuffs do not fit an individual's arm, the forearm site is often the preferable alternative. The increased incidence of obesity nationally also contributes to the heightened use of forearm BPs. Questions remain concerning the accuracy of forearm non-invasive BP measurements. Although most researchers report that upper arm and forearm readings are not interchangeable, size of differences vary for individuals and factors influencing differences in readings have not been thoroughly investigated.
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