Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Abdominal Aneurysm BP Checks

Regular blood pressure monitoring is important for anyone with an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Early detection and treatment of high blood pressure can help prevent heart damage.

Taking your Blood Pressure
A number of devices are available for home blood pressure measurement. Digital blood pressure devices are easy to use: they automatically calculate the pulse and display the systolic and diastolic pressures. However, a simple blood pressure cuff with a stethoscope is the most accurate way to measure blood pressure.

Tips for Obtaining an Accurate Blood Pressure

  • Remain seated or lying flat with the arm supported at heart level.
  • No smoking or caffeine for 30 minutes prior to measurement.
  • Rest for 5 minutes before taking your blood pressure.
  • The blood pressure air bladder should nearly encircle the arm: persons with large arms may require an extra large adult cuff. Cuffs are usually marked to indicate the acceptable size range.
  • Apply cuff 1/2 inch above elbow crease.
  • Locate brachial pulse and place the stethoscope bell at this location.
  • With the valve closed, pump up cuff bulb to approximately 210 mm Hg, or a point where no sounds are heard through the stethoscope.
  • Open the valve slowly (2-3 mm Hg per second) and listen for the point where the tapping sounds are first heard. The corresponding reading on the dial is the systolic pressure.
  • Then, listen for the point where the tapping sounds stop. The corresponding reading on the dial is the diastolic pressure.
  • Perform two more readings per session, separated by 5 minutes.
  • The blood pressure must be elevated during at least 3 separate sessions to diagnose hypertension.

Systolic Pressure Guideline for Adults
Systolic Blood PressureAssessment
120-139Prehypertension
Over 140-159Hypertension Stage 1
160 or higherHypertension Stage 2

Diastolic Pressure Guideline for Adults
Diastolic Blood PressureAssessment
Below 80Normal
80-89Prehypertension
90-99Hypertension Stage 1
100 or higherHypertension Stage 2

Continue to Abdominal Aneurysm Diet

Last Updated: Oct 19, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Abdominal Aneurysm References
  1. Ailawadi G, Eliason JL, Upchurch GR Jr: Current concepts in the pathogenesis of abdominal aortic aneurysm. J Vasc Surg 2003 Sep; 38(3): 584-8. [12947280]
  2. Fleming C, Whitlock EP, Beil TL, Lederle FA. Screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm: a best-evidence systematic review for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Ann Intern Med. 2005 Feb 1;142(3):203-11. [15684209]
  3. Isselbacher EM. Thoracic and abdominal aortic aneurysms. Circulation. 2005 Feb 15;111(6):816-28. [15710776]
  4. Lyon C, Clark DC. Diagnosis of acute abdominal pain in older patients. Am Fam Physician. 2006 Nov 1;74(9):1537-44. [17111893]
  5. Sakalihasan N, Limet R, Defawe OD. Abdominal aortic aneurysm. Lancet. 2005 Apr 30-May 6;365(9470):1577-89. [15866312]
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