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Anaesthesia. 2011 May;66(5):354-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2044.2011.06657.x. Epub 2011 Mar 18.

Defining intra-operative hypotension--a pilot comparison of blood pressure during sleep and general anaesthesia.

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St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.


The scientific justification for particular values of intra-operative hypotension is poorly substantiated. To provide a rationale for appropriate values we recorded blood pressure measurements at home for 24 h using an automated non-invasive ambulatory blood pressure measurement device. These blood pressures were compared with blood pressure measured before and during general anaesthesia in 18 subjects undergoing elective day surgery. We confirmed that a pre-operative reading taken upon admission to hospital is significantly elevated compared to a usual daytime blood pressure in the same patient. The median (IQR [range]) increases in systolic and mean arterial pressures were 10 (2-15 [-5 to 59]) mmHg, p = 0.003 and 10 (5-14 [-5 to 35]) mmHg, p = 0.002, respectively. When using this admission blood pressure measurement as a 'baseline', systolic and mean arterial pressures decreased during sleep by 41 (30-46 [6-83]) mmHg and 34 (26-36 [6-58]) mmHg, respectively (p = 0.001). This decreased even further intra-operatively: systolic blood pressure by 49 (36-64 [15-96]) mmHg and mean arterial pressure by 36 (26-46 [8-66]) mmHg (p = 0.001).

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