For most people, hypertension is a condition that should be diagnosed regularly in order to help prevent future illness. But for kidney transplant patients, uncontrolled hypertension can be particularly dangerous—no less for pediatric patients than for adults. In a recently published article in the journal Pediatric Nephrology, Blood pressure profile in renal transplant recipients and its relation to diastolic function: tissue Doppler echocardiographic, Dr. Mitra Basiratnia and the staff at the Shiraz University of Medical Sciences describe the dangers this way:
“Arterial hypertension is a common consequence after renal transplantation. It is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular events, graft failure, proteinuria, and death.”
One of the most commonly used methods used to acquire a patient’s blood pressure is taking a manual reading during their visit to the clinician. But the authors of this study suggest there might be a more effective method. They compared 24-hour Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring (ABPM) using SunTech Medical’s Oscar 2 to conventional measurements taken manually with a mercury sphygmomanometer during patient visits. SunTech’s AccuWin Pro software, used in conjunction with the Oscar 2, includes an automated pediatric threshold calculator based on the AHA's Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring in Children and Adolescents: Recommendations for Standard Assessment, a useful tool for quickly diagnosing hypertension in pediatric patients.
The authors found that the percentage of patients with post-transplant hypertension depended significantly on the method used, with ABPM diagnosing more patients than manual readings (89% and 58%, respectively). The authors felt that because of ABPM’s ability to detect white coat hypertension, nocturnal hypertension, masked hypertension and the better correlation of ABPM with left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), that ABPM was a more efficient tool than traditional manual readings taken during patient visits for the evaluation of hypertension in pediatric transplant recipients.