An ambulatory blood pressure monitor or ABPM is a diagnostic test that takes regular blood pressure readings over 24 hours while you undertake normal daily activities, even during sleep.


Readings are taken every 30 minutes, or hourly overnight, producing a graph of your blood pressure changes over 24 hours.


Why am I having an ambulatory blood pressure monitor?

High blood pressure is a risk factor for developing heart disease such as a heart attack or stroke and is one of the modifiable risk factors that can be managed to keep your heart healthy. Blood pressure changes throughout the day and can sometimes be higher when you are sitting at the doctor’s office due to feeling anxious about your consultation! When your doctor has a question about your blood pressure that can’t be answered with a single reading taken during your appointment you may be referred for an Ambulatory blood pressure monitor (ABPM).

What happens during an ambulatory blood pressure monitor fitting?

An Ambulatory blood pressure monitor is fitted within our practice and then worn for 24 hours while you go about your usual daily activities, including during sleep.

Please note that this test is NOT covered by Medicare so there will be an out-of-pocket expense and no Medicare rebate available.

The cardiac technician will:

  • Measure your arm to ensure the right size cuff is fitted.

  • Fit the cuff to the top of your arm, like a normal blood pressure cuff.

  • Connect the cuff to the small portable monitor.

  • Clip the monitor to your waist band.

  • Talk you through what to record in your patient diary.

  • Make sure the monitor is working and taking accurate readings.

We ask that you avoid getting the monitor wet while wearing it, no swimming, baths or showers.

Unless you develop pain under the cuff, we ask that you do not remove the monitor as our cardiologists will not be able to make a diagnosis unless they have 24 hours of readings to interpret. Before each reading the machine will beep to let you know the cuff is about to inflate.

At the end of the 24-hour period, you can either remove the monitor yourself or return to one of our centres for our team to remove the monitor. If the monitor was fitted on a Friday, please make sure you remove it after the 24-hours on Saturday, turn off the machine and return it to us on Monday morning. 

How long does this test take?

An ABPM monitor takes 30 minutes to fit and after 24 hours of continuous wear needs to be returned to the centre the next day.

How do I prepare?

As you cannot get the monitor wet it is best to shower just before the fitting appointment if possible.

What are the risks?

An ABPM is safe and there are not usually any complications, occasionally people may experience a little swelling or bruising under the cuff.

What to wear?

The cardiac technician will need to fit a blood pressure cuff to your left arm. It is best to wear a top with loose fitting sleaves so that the cuff can expanding underneath as you go about your daily activities. We recommend avoid a dress on the day of fitting as the monitor needs to be clipped to a waistband.

What to bring?

Please ensure you bring a copy of your referral with you. Please note that this test is not covered by Medicare but still requires a referral.

My results?

Your results will be assessed by one of our cardiologists, a written report will be sent to your referring doctor.