A comparison of two automated monitors in the measurement of blood pressure reactivity

Bernard A. Rosner, Lawrence J. Appel, James M. Raczynski, Patricia R. Hebert, Paul K. Whelton, Joseph K. Murphy, Stephen T. Miller, Albert Oberman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Cardiovascular reactivity is the change in blood pressure, pulse, and other parameters of cardiovascular function in response to a challenging task. During the conduct of cardiovascular reactivity protocols, researchers frequently use automated blood pressure devices to measure blood pressure reactivity. However, the accuracy of automated devices in measuring blood pressure reactivity is unknown. To investigate the accuracy and precision of the Dinamap 1846 SXP and the VitaStat 2600B in the measurement of blood pressure reactivity, we compared blood pressure reactivity recorded by the VitaStat and Dinamap with that obtained by observers using a conventional mercury sphygmomanometer. At three sites, 159 normotensive subjects performed the same task twice, once with blood pressure reactivity measured by the manual observers and once by the VitaStat (n = 79) or Dinamap (n = 80), with the order determined at random. Ratios (VitaStat/Dinamap) of aggregate within-person variance for baseline and task, systolic and diastolic blood pressures ranged from 1.53 to 4.93 (all P < 0.01), suggesting that the Dinamap has better precision than the VitaStat. For both diastolic and systolic blood pressure reactivity and for both types of automated devices, the mean differences in blood pressure reactivity between manual and automated measurements were small (range, -1.8 to 0.8 mm Hg). However, the VitaStat versus manual scatter plot of diastolic blood pressure reactivity showed greater dispersion (correlation coefficient r = 0.16, P = 0.15) than the Dinamap versus manual scatter plot (r = 0.36, P = 0.001). For systolic blood pressure reactivity, the VitaStat versus manual and Dinamap versus manual scatter plots were similar. Our data indicate that the Dinamap is superior to the VitaStat in the measurement of blood pressure reactivity. The substantial performance differences between the VitaStat and Dinamap suggest that other automated blood pressure monitors must be evaluated prior to use in cardiovascular reactivity studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-69
Number of pages13
JournalAnnals of epidemiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1990


  • Automated device
  • blood pressure
  • cardiovascular reactivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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