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J Am Soc Hypertens. 2011 Jan-Feb;5(1):12-20. doi: 10.1016/j.jash.2010.10.005. Epub 2011 Jan 26.

Korotkoff sound versus oscillometric cuff sphygmomanometers: comparison between auscultatory and DynaPulse blood pressure measurements.

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Pulse Metric, Incorporated, Vista, CA, USA.


Listening to Korotkoff sounds (K-sounds) to determine systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP) has been the standard for noninvasive BP measurement in medical practices for nearly 100 years. It is the essential tool used for evaluation and assessment of patients with hypertension and risks of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) by physicians and nurses despite limited understanding of the nature of K-sounds. Analyzing cuff oscillometric signals to obtain BP has been the foundation of most digital BP monitors available today. DynaPulse is an oscillometric digital BP monitor that records and analyzes subtle changes of pulse waveforms during the course of a BP measurement while cuff pressure slowly decreases from above systolic to below diastolic. This study compares systolic and diastolic readings obtained by K-sound method following the Bogalusa Heart Study protocol and BP measured by DynaPulse (DP2000A) monitor, in order to better understand the nature and difference between K-sound and oscillometric methods. Analysis of means and differences is applied to BP data collected from 803 subjects examined in the Bogalusa Heart Study. The results indicated: 1) DynaPulse systolic was 9 mm Hg higher (P < .0001) than Phase 1 (K1) systolic, 2) DynaPulse diastolic was 5 mm Hg lower (P < .0001) than Phase 4 (K4), and 3) is less than 1 mm Hg higher than Phase 5 (K5) diastolic (P < .0001), when compared with K-sound auscultatory measurement. Understanding the methods and differences of DynaPulse oscillometric and K-sound BP measurements is important for clinic BP screening and self-BP monitoring, as well as future research to improve hypertension and CVD managements.

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