Principles and Techniques of Blood Pressure Measurement

Gbenga Ogedegbe, Thomas Pickering

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Although the mercury sphygmomanometer is widely regarded as the gold standard for office blood pressure measurement, the ban on use of mercury devices continues to diminish their role in office and hospital settings. To date, mercury devices have largely been phased out in United States hospitals. This situation has led to the proliferation of nonmercury devices and has changed (probably forever) the preferable modality of blood pressure measurement in clinic and hospital settings. In this article, the basic techniques of blood pressure measurement and the technical issues associated with measurements in clinical practice are discussed. The devices currently available for hospital and clinic measurements and their important sources of error are presented. Practical advice is given on how the different devices and measurement techniques should be used. Blood pressure measurements in different circumstances and in special populations such as infants, children, pregnant women, elderly persons, and obese subjects are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)571-586
Number of pages16
JournalCardiology Clinics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2010


  • Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring
  • Blood pressure measurement
  • Self-monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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