Blood pressure

Synonyms and acronyms: RR (after the inventor of the blood pressure cuff Scipione Riva-Rocci), vascular pressure.

Blood pressure is the pressure exerted by the circulation of the blood on the vessel walls of the body and lung circulation.1 In everyday medical practice, this is usually understood to mean the arterial blood pressure of the large arteries.2 Along with other vital parameters, blood pressure provides information about a person’s health. In the long run, high blood pressure in particular can be dangerous to health.


UnitmmHg (millimetres of mercury)
Normal values< 130/85 (adults)
Measurement methodsInvasive or indirect with blood pressure cuff according to Riva-Rocci.
Measurement sitesupper arm, wrist, ear, blood vessel (invasive measurement method)

Definition: What is blood pressure?

The systolic blood pressure corresponds to the upper blood pressure value (in the above example: 120 mmHg) and indicates the maximum pressure in the heart ejection phase (tension phase = systole).

Systolic blood pressure

Der systolische Blutdruck entspricht dem oberen Blutdruckwert (im oben genannten Beispiel: 130 mmHg) und zeigt den maximalen Druck in der Herzauswurfphase (Anspannungsphase = Systole) an.

Diastolic blood pressure

The diastolic blood pressure, on the other hand, corresponds to the lower blood pressure value (in the above example: 80 mmHg) and indicates the minimum pressure in the heart filling phase (relaxation phase = diastole).

Blood pressure: normal values and deviations

Depending on age, different blood pressure values are considered “normal”. If there are deviations, the systolic and diastolic values are usually either increased or decreased together. However, there can also be a deviation of only one of the two values.3

Table 1: Blood pressure values- reference range:4

AgeSystolic blood pressure (mmHg)Diastolic blood pressure (mmHg)
0 – 3 months70–86
3–12 months86–9360–62
1–9 years95–10165–69
9–14 years101–11068–74
18+ years
high normal130–13985–89

Blood pressure too high / hypertension

Too high blood pressure is called hypertension.5

According to the European guideline, this is defined as blood pressure values of 140/ 90 mmHg or higher at rest. Since hypertension is common (average prevalence in adulthood: 50%)6 and is a strong risk factor for cardiovascular disease, it is clinically more relevant than low blood pressure.7 What makes the diagnosis and understanding of the disease particularly difficult is that the disease is asymptomatic in patients and is often diagnosed late. Treatment of hypertension is essential, however, because hypertensive crises with systolic blood pressure values > 180-230 mmHg can have serious consequences such as cerebral hemorrhage.

In the long term, multiple end-organ damage such as hypertensive retinopathy (eye), myocardial infarction (heart), stroke (brain) or nephropathy (kidney) can occur. A study conducted by Ebinger J. et al (2022) also showed that the risk of hospitalization is twice as high for hypertensives in the case of infection with the omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 despite triple vaccination. It should be emphasized that hypertension alone, without other chronic conditions such as heart failure or diabetes, was responsible for a more severe course of covid-19 in the study.8

Both the start of treatment and the setting of the target blood pressure depend on the overall risk assessment. A change in lifestyle is essential for reducing blood pressure: alcohol and nicotine should be avoided as far as possible and in most cases additional weight loss is recommended. Drug therapy (ACE inhibitor/sartan and diuretic/calcium antagonist) can also be induced.9

Blood pressure too low / low blood pressure

Blood pressure values below 100/60 mmHg are considered too low and are called hypotension.

Possible symptoms of hypotension are mainly an increased pulse (tachycardia), dizziness, headache, pallor, involuntary muscle tremor, fatigue, lack of concentration and orthostatic dysregulation. Orthostatic hypotension is manifested by the dropping of blood into the legs when changing posture from lying to standing (orthostasis). The reason for this is that the body’s nerves cannot maintain the state of tension against gravity.10

Low blood pressure mainly affects younger people, especially women. In contrast to hypertension (see above), there is only a need for action such as drug therapy in the case of hypotension if the patient’s symptoms cause increased suffering. However, since low blood pressure can also be caused by diseases such as heart valve defects, anemia or adrenal dysfunction such as Addison’s disease, this should also be investigated in the long term. Measures such as sufficient fluid intake (2 – 2.5 liters per day), alternating showers, sauna sessions, physical training, sufficient night sleep and stays in regions such as the North Sea or the high mountains can help against low blood pressure.11

Hypotension can be categorized as follows:

  1. Primary hypotension: idiopathic (with no identifiable cause), in people with slender builds, often occurs along with physical inactivity.
  2. Secondary hypotension: endocrine (related to the endocrine system), cardiovascular, or drug causes (e.g., beta-blocker administration), hypovolemia (volume deficiency), or infection.

Regulation of blood pressure

The arterial blood pressure is intended to ensure a constant blood supply to all organs (organ perfusion). For this purpose, the body either makes adjustments to the arterial blood pressure or directly to the blood flow to the target organ.

The regulation of blood pressure takes place in the brain or in the transition to the spinal cord. Here, the formatio reticularis is located in the medulla oblongata. This extensive, diffuse neuron system in the brain stem controls the circulatory system and is in turn controlled by the hypothalamus.

In blood pressure and circulation regulation, a distinction is made between short-, medium- and long-term regulatory mechanisms, which in turn can influence vascular tone (vascular tension).12

Short-term regulation

The short-term regulation of blood pressure takes place within seconds.13 The resistance vessels, capacity vessels and the heart are responsible for this. The heart can change the blood pressure by adjusting the stroke volume14 and the heart rate.15

In the short term, blood pressure can be regulated by opposing adjustments of the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems (see “The autonomic nervous system”). For example, if the blood pressure is elevated, the sympathetic nervous system is inhibited and the parasympathetic nervous system is activated. Stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system causes the heart rate to decrease, the vascular tone of the veins to decrease and thus the central blood volume, the filling pressure of the heart and thus the stroke volume also decrease.16 The adjustment of sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems takes place via pressoreceptors or baroreceptors. They are located in the walls of the blood vessels and continuously register the blood pressure there.17

Medium-long term regulation

  1. Renin-Angiontensin-Aldosterone system (RAAS)

When systolic blood pressure falls to 100 mmHg or less, the enzyme renin is released in the kidneys. The enzyme now cleaves a large protein called angiotensinogen into angiotensin I. This in turn is cleaved into angiotensin II by the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE). Stimulated by angiotensin II, vasoconstriction of the arterioles (small arteries) occurs, leading to an increase in blood pressure. In addition, angiotensin II releases the hormones ADH from the pituitary gland and aldosterone from the adrenal gland. While the hormones angiotensin II and ADH retain natrium (salt) in the body, aldosterone also increases the excretion of potassium. The higher natrium content leads to the storage of water in the body, which in turn leads to an increase in blood volume in the body and thus to increased blood pressure.18

To lower blood pressure, the RAAS system is an ideal target for this reason: On the one hand, the cleavage of angiotensin I to angiotensin II can be pharmacologically influenced by ACE inhibitors. On the other hand, angiotensin II can be inhibited by so-called AT1 receptor antagonists (sartans).19Cardiovascular diseases, (retrieved: 22.08.2022)

Fig. 1: Simplified schematic of the renin-angiotensin system and its influence on the regulation of blood pressure.

2. Gauer-Henry reflex

With the Gauer-Henry reflex, the release of the hormone ADH is adapted to the respective blood pressure situation. If the blood pressure rises, the ADH release in the thalamus20 is inhibited and as a result the kidney excretes more water.
If the blood pressure is too low, the mechanism works analogously in reverse.

3. Atrial dilatation reflex (using ANP)

The Gauer-Henry reflex influences the excretion of water from the kidneys in relation to the blood level of the heart. When the body volume is too high, the blood volume in the atria increases and is thus passively dilated. The reflex is mediated by B-sensors, which are called stretch sensors. If atrial dilation is increased, blood pressure is lowered by the release of the hormone ANP, which is produced in the heart. If more ANP is released, the kidney excretes more natrium and water and the parasympathetic tone is promoted while the sympathetic tone is inhibited.

What does blood pressure say about health?

Along with body temperature, blood oxygen saturation and heart rate, blood pressure is another important vital sign that helps to gain an even deeper insight into a person’s health. Deviations from the normal values, especially if they deviate significantly upwards, are often the cause of many cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and thus represent a major risk factor for health. But even a very low blood pressure can provide information about the current state of health.

Influence of diseases on blood pressure

Underlying diseases of the kidneys, thyroid or blood vessels can be the cause of high blood pressure in 10-15% of hypertensive patients. One of the causes, for example, is primary hyperaldosteronism (Conn’s syndrome). The body, or more precisely the adrenal gland, releases too much aldosterone here, which leads to an accumulation of water and sodium and thus to increased blood pressure.21 A study conducted in 2016 showed that 6% of the subjects with hypertension had Conn’s syndrome.22 Hyperthyroidism can also be responsible for high blood pressure. Another relevant factor in the development of hypertension is sleep apnoea syndrome, which is associated with nocturnal breathing pauses. It is reassuring to know that successful treatment of the underlying diseases can also treat hypertension.

There may also be a genetic predisposition to high blood pressure: In this case, there is an increased incidence of high blood pressure in the family and risk factors for high blood pressure are increased as a result.23

Secondary /side diseases due to high blood pressure

High blood pressure is an important risk factor for the development of many diseases or complications such as end organ damage.24 Some of the diseases are listed below:

  • Diseases of the eye:
    • Retinopathy (retinal disease that can severely affect vision)
    • Blindness
  • Cardiovascular diseases:
    • Stroke
    • Aortic aneurysm
    • Heart failure
    • Dementia
    • Arteriosclerosis
    • Coronary heart disease
    • Cerebral hemorrhage
    • Peripheral arterial occlusive disease (occlusion of arm or leg arteries, usually due to arteriosclerosis)
    • Heart attack
    • Cardiac arrhythmia with ventricular extrasystoles25
    • Left ventricular hypertrophy (enlarged left ventricle of the heart)
  • Diseases of the ears:
    • Hearing loss (statistically higher risk for women)
    • Tinnitus
  • Mental illnesses/ diseases of the nervous system:
    • Erectile dysfunction
    • Cerebral circulatory disorder
    • Depression (there is a higher risk of developing depression if blood pressure therapy with calcium antagonists or beta-blockers has been used)
  • Diseases of the kidneys and urinary tract:
    • Renal insufficiency
    • Kidney failure
    • Nephropathy with proteinuria (increased protein excretion)26

What influences blood pressure?

The level of blood pressure depends on both numerous physiological factors such as age, health status and gender, as well as external conditions, which are described in more detail below.

Blood pressure during the course of the day

Blood pressure is subject to large fluctuations during the course of the day, also known as the circadian blood pressure rhythm. Even before waking up in the morning, blood pressure rises continuously, there is a brief low at midday, while it then rises again from 4-6 p.m. and drops again significantly during the night.27 Renal hypertension is often characterized by hypertension at night – and thus by a disturbed circadian rhythm.

In addition, diabetes and hypertension (e.g. secondary forms of hypertension such as sleep apnoea) should also be considered when a disturbed circadian rhythm is detected. A large-scale meta-study showed that elevated blood pressure at night is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke. They also concluded that blood pressure measurements taken during the day in hypertensive patients, for example in the doctor’s office, are less effective because night-time blood pressure is the most informative for the cardiovascular risk of the respective patient.28

Another study with 18.078 participants also showed that the targeted intake of blood pressure-lowering medication before a night’s rest significantly reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.29 In contrast, too much lowering of blood pressure was observed in older people with silent reduced blood flow to the brain or heart.30

In addition, studies showed that lack of sleep or poor sleep quality can also increase blood pressure. The reasons for this are increased sympathetic activity and the release of cortisol in the adrenal glands.3132

Blood pressure in women and men

In the meantime, it is well known that illnesses can have different gender-specific courses. There are also differences in blood pressure between the male and female sexes: in general, it can be said that women’s blood pressure is lower than men’s until their menopause33 After the menopause, however, this changes. The evaluation of four cohort studies also showed that women had a 25% increased risk of cardiovascular diseases already at systolic blood pressure values of 100-109 mmHg (reference value: 100 mmHg), whereas this was only the case for men from 130-139 mmHg. In addition, the risk of stroke increased in women from a systolic blood pressure of 120 mmHg, while the same risk increased in men from 150 mmHg. Whether there should now be gender-specific standard values remains to be discussed. However, the study shows how important gender-sensitive medicine really is.34

Blood pressure in babies and children

The following table shows the blood pressure values divided by age:35

AgeBlood pressure (mmHg)
Newborn60 / 40
Infant80 / 60
Toddler95 / 60
Schoolchild100 / 60
Adolescent110 / 70
Adult120 / 70
Elderly people150 / 90

In contrast to adults, there are no risk-adapted standard values for children, as these change with body growth. For this reason, they are defined in comparison to healthy control groups of the same size and age (percentile curves). If the blood pressure is above the 95th percentile, it is defined as “high blood pressure”.36

Higher than indicated blood pressure in children and adolescents is a growing health problem. If children are diagnosed with hypertension, they should be screened for cardiovascular or renal disease and diabetes mellitus. Effective treatments include weight loss (if overweight), a healthy diet low in salt, exercise and abstaining from alcohol and tobacco. The prevalence of hypertension in children aged 3-18 years is 3.6%.37 The majority of children diagnosed with hypertension also suffer from high blood pressure as adults.38

Blood pressure during pregnancy

Due to the hormonal changes, many bodily functions change during pregnancy. As a rule, blood pressure drops slightly, especially at the beginning of pregnancy, and the heart rate is increased. While low blood pressure does not normally pose any risks for the expectant mother and the child, too high blood pressure can be dangerous for both.39 A blood pressure of 140/90 mmHg is set as the limit value.

The following types of hypertension are distinguished in pregnancy (with frequency in percent in each case):

  • Chronic hypertension: diagnosed before/during pregnancy (3%)40
  • Pre-eclampsia: hypertension occurring during pregnancy with proteinuria (5-8%)41
  • Gestosis: pre-eclampsia in women with chronic hypertension (20-25%)
  • Gestational hypertension: high blood pressure that manifests after the 20th week of pregnancy and normalizes by 12 weeks after birth (6%).

Risk factors are considered to be general factors such as the presence of autoimmune or renal diseases, obesity, diabetes, older age or chronic hypertension. Multiple pregnancies, gestational diabetes and first births are also pregnancy-associated risk factors.42 The pathophysiological cause of hypertension in pregnancy is disturbed placentation43, which poses a risk to the fetus

If preeclampsia is not treated in time, it can lead to placental abruption and/or premature birth. A severe form of pre-eclampsia can also cause organ damage and seizures (eclampsia) in the pregnant woman.44 Since high blood pressure during pregnancy poses a great risk to the mother-to-be and the fetus, blood pressure should be checked regularly.

Blood pressure in old age

The risk of developing hypertension increases with age because the elasticity of the blood vessels continues to decrease. For this reason, three out of four people between the ages of 70 and 85 are hypertensive. In addition to the loss of elasticity, lifestyle habits in particular also seem to be causative for high blood pressure, as studies show that in indigenous people blood pressure remains constant even in old age.45 Treating blood pressure is essential, however, because high blood pressure in old age is also associated with an increased mortality risk. Attempts are made to adjust the systolic blood pressure to below 140 mmHg. Scientists from Ulm examined 1,100 participants and found out that the mortality risk is strongly influenced by the frailty46 of the test persons. While the optimal blood pressure in the fitter elderly subjects was 130 mmHg (related to mortality risk), it was surprisingly 160 mmHg in the very frail elderly. This study thus shows the importance of individual adjustment of blood pressure and that physical and mental fitness should be included in the treatment of hypertension.4748

Blood pressure during physical exercise

Blood pressure is generally higher during physical exertion, stressful situations or nervous strain. Under physical stress, the systolic blood pressure rises because the stroke volume of the heart increases – the diastolic blood pressure, on the other hand, remains approximately the same. However, the diastolic blood pressure also rises during maximum exercise. The reason for this is that maximum exercise leads to isometric muscle contraction and, as a result, peripheral vascular resistance increases sharply.49

However it is well known that physical activity can lower blood pressure in the long term: while it lowers the sympathetic tone, the vagus tone increases at rest. This lowers the heart rate and dilates the arterial blood vessels. For every kilogram of body weight lost, systolic blood pressure decreases by 1.5-2.0 mmHg and diastolic by 1.2-1.5 mmHg diastolic. Up to 160 mmHg (systolic), blood pressure can be normalized with three times a week exercise to a similar extent as with medication. If the blood pressure is above 160 mmHg, it must first be adjusted with medication to avoid dangerous blood pressure peaks. This is because high blood pressure can be seen as an important risk factor for sudden cardiac death during physical activity. Another study showed that every third person who died from sudden cardiac death was hypertensive. While a few years ago, low-intensity sports such as cycling, jogging or swimming were recommended and strength training was discouraged, more recent studies have shown positive effects on lowering blood pressure through strength training.

However, it is important to know that in the short term, high blood pressure first increases. The important thing here is that certain limits must not be exceeded. The appropriate choice of sport is also important, as certain types of sport trigger blood pressure spikes even in people with normal blood pressure levels. Studies show that regular exercise can greatly reduce the cardiovascular mortality risk in hypertensive patients.50 A prospective cohort study over 25 years concluded that the cardiovascular mortality rate was 70% lower in subjects with hypertension who were active in sports than in the control group who were inactive in sports.51 Blood pressure is generally higher during physical exertion, stressful situations or nervous strain. Under physical stress, systolic blood pressure rises because the stroke volume of the heart increases – diastolic blood pressure, on the other hand, remains approximately the same. Under maximum stress, however, this also rises.

Other influences on blood pressure

Blood pressure after a meal

After a meal, on the other hand, blood pressure is somewhat lower. The reason for this is that the human body is busy digesting and the digestive organs are therefore supplied with more blood. The blood volume of the body therefore decreases somewhat and so does the blood pressure. In order to avoid false results, blood pressure should not be measured immediately after a meal.52

However, if the blood pressure drops sharply after a meal, this is called postprandial hypotension. This can result in dizziness, lightheadedness and an increased risk of falling. It usually affects older people with high blood pressure or people who have damaged a center in the brain that controls the autonomic nervous system – i.e. in diseases such as Parkinson’s, Shy-Drager syndrome or diabetes. The reason for this is that blood pressure during digestion cannot be maintained by the blood vessels in other parts of the body. Eating small meals that are low in carbohydrates can help.53

Blood pressure and weather

It is often mistakenly assumed that high temperatures can lead to high blood pressure. In fact, the opposite is true: the high temperatures cause dilatation of the vessels and thus blood pressure drops. While hypotension is not dangerous for healthy people, it can cause serious problems for pregnant women and elderly people, as the supply of vital organs or the care of the child can no longer be guaranteed. If, on the other hand, the temperature drops, this becomes a problem, especially for hypertensive patients. The drop in temperature causes the vessels to contract further and the blood pressure rises, as a higher resistance has to be overcome.54

Blood pressure and coffee

Caffeinated drinks should not be consumed before a blood pressure measurement, as they can increase blood pressure by 10-20 mmHg in the short term. A higher increase in blood pressure after coffee consumption can be observed especially in people who drink coffee only occasionally – but with more frequent caffeine consumption, a habituation effect sets in.55 The question of whether the consumption of caffeinated beverages increases blood pressure is controversial. A systematic review and meta-analysis (n=172,567) concluded that drinking more than three cups of coffee a day compared to one cup or less was not associated with an increased risk of hypertension. However, a slightly increased risk was found with consumption of 1-3 cups daily.56

Blood pressure while lying down

Im Liegen ist der Blutdruck um 3-10 mmHg höher als im Sitzen. Aus diesem Grund gilt bei gesunden, mobilen Personen die Empfehlung, immer im Sitzen zu messen, um die Messergebnisse nicht zu verfälschen.57 Neben der Höhe des Blutdrucks ist allerdings auch seine Stabilität von großer Bedeutung. Eine Studie aus dem Jahr 2006 hat gezeigt, dass bei Personen, deren Blutdruck sowohl im Stehen als auch im Liegen ähnliche Druckwerte aufweist, gemessen an der Sterblichkeit, doppelt so vital waren als diejenigen Probanden, deren Blutdruck vom Liegen zum Stehen deutlich absank. Schlussfolgernd kann ein instabiler Blutdruck als Risikofaktor für Herz-Kreislauf-Erkrankungen angesehen werden.58

Blood pressure and pulse

The HARVEST study found that 15% of hypertension patients had a heart rate over 85 beats and 27% had a heart rate over 80 beats per minute. In addition, a high heart rate was shown to be a risk factor for developing hypertension during the course of the study.59

Heart rate variability (HRV), the variation in the time interval between two heartbeats, was also lower in hypertensives than in people with normal blood pressure levels. In addition, the likelihood of developing hypertension was higher when baseline HRV was lower than reference baseline.60

In contrast, some hypertensives have a consistently low resting heart rate. The so-called “baroreceptor reflex” is responsible for this: if the blood pressure rises, the parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated via the vagus nerve, the sympathetic nervous system is inhibited and thus the heart rate is lowered due to the negative chronotropic effect. If, on the other hand, the blood pressure drops, the parasympathetic nervous system is inhibited and thus the heart rate is increased.61

Blutdruck messen

Da der Blutdruck ein wichtiger Vitalparameter zur Beurteilung des aktuellen Gesundheitszustands ist, sollte dieser regelmäßig kontrolliert werden. Hierfür stehen verschiedene Arten der Blutdruckmessung zur Verfügung.

Wie wird der Blutdruck gemessen?

Abb. 2: Schema zur indirekten, unblutigen Messung des arteriellen Blutdrucks nach Riva-Rocci. Oben der arterielle Blutdruck und der allmählich sinkende Manschettendruck, darunter die im roten Bereich über der A.brachialis hörbaren Korotkow-Geräusche. Unten Skizze zur Messanordnung.

Bei der indirekten Blutdruckmessung nach Riva-Rocci wird entweder eine Blutdruckmanschette am Oberarm und ein Stethoskop oder ein elektronisches Blutdruckmessgerät (oszillometrische Blutdruckmessung62 ) verwendet. Obwohl diese Anwendungen etwas ungenauer sind als die direkte Blutdruckmessung, also die Einführung eines Messfühlers in die Arterie, finden sie im klinischen Alltag wegen ihrer Praktikabilität häufiger Verwendung.

Die Blutdruckmanschette wird am Oberarm angelegt, das Ventil muss zuvor zugedreht werden. Das Stethoskop wird in der Ellenbeuge angesetzt, es wird zügig aufgepumpt, bis der Radialispuls nicht mehr zu sehen ist.

Als nächstes wird das Ventil geöffnet und die Luft kann langsam entweichen. Während der Beginn des Geräusches, den systolischen Wert darstellt, wird mit dem Verschwinden des Geräusches der diastolische Wert angezeigt.

Das Prinzip der indirekten Blutdruckmessung funktioniert wie folgt: Durch die Kompression mit einer Manschette wird der Blutstrom in der Arteria Brachialis63 gestoppt, bis der Druck der Manschette größer als der systolische Blutdruck ist und keine Strömungsgeräusche mehr zu vernehmen sind. Durch die Ventilöffnung kann Luft entweichen. Wenn die Drücke der Manschette und des systolischen Blutdrucks gleich hoch sind, kann das Blut wieder durch die Arterie strömen. Das Blut strömt allerdings nicht kontinuierlich, da der diastolische Blutdruck noch unter dem des Manschettendrucks liegt. So kommt es zu einem rhythmischen Wechsel zwischen Blutströmung (Systole) und keiner Blutströmung (Diastole). Ursächlich für die typischen pulssynchronen Strömungsgeräusche, die auch Korotkoff-Geräusche genannt werden, ist eben jener Wechsel. Der Manschettendruck sinkt weiter, das Ventil bleibt dabei geöffnet. Sind die Werte niedriger als beim diastolischen Blutdruck, sind keine Strömungsgeräusche mehr zu hören, da die Arteria Brachialis geöffnet bleibt.64

Wo wird der Blutdruck gemessen?

Im Normalfall wird der Blutdruck immer am gleichen Oberarm, am Handgelenk oder im Gehörgang, bevorzugt im Sitzen, gemessen. Bei der Messung am Oberarm muss die Manschette immer auf Herzhöhe angebracht sein.

Einflüsse auf die Messung

Wichtig ist, dass die Blutdruckmessung immer unter den gleichen Ausgangsbedingungen durchgeführt wird.

Zur Vermeidung von Messfehlern sollten einige Dinge im Vorfeld bedacht werden:

  • Die Blutdruckmessung sollte immer zur gleichen Zeit durchgeführt werden, da der Blutdruck tageszeitlichen Schwankungen unterliegt.
    Körperliche (z.B. Schmerz) und/oder emotionale Belastungen können den Blutdruck stark beeinflussen.65
  • Geräuschquellen sollten minimiert werden und während der Messung sollte nicht gesprochen werden.
  • Die Größe der Manschette sollte passend zum Oberarmumfang des Patienten sein.
  • Enge, einschnürende Kleidung sollte am Messtag nicht getragen werden.66
  • Koffein und Nikotinkonsum können die Messergebnisse verfälschen.
  • Blutdrucksenkende Medikamente sollten erst nach der Blutdruckmessung eingenommen werden.
  • Der Patient sollte sich nicht bewegen und die Füße nebeneinander auf den Boden stellen.

Ebenfalls beachtet werden sollte, dass die Werte, die in einer Arztpraxis gemessen werden, nicht immer medizinisch korrekt sind. Ein Grund hierfür kann die sog. Weißkittelhypertonie sein. Da der Patient beim Arztbesuch aufgeregt ist, sind die Blutdruckwerte oft höher als bei der Selbstmessung zuhause.67

Wie misst cosinuss° den Blutdruck?

Die Sensorik, die in cosinuss° Geräten steckt, arbeitet mit einem optischen Messverfahren. Das funktioniert ähnlich wie die Fingerclip-Sensoren, die beispielsweise in Krankenhäusern verwendet werden. Mithilfe optischer Messtechnik leitet sich das photoplethysmographische Signal, kurz PPG-Signal, ab. Aus diesen erzeugten individuellen Pulswellen können wichtige Vitalparameter wie beispielsweise die Herzfrequenz oder der Blutdruck abgeleitet werden.
Vereinfacht dargestellt korreliert das PPG-Signal mit dem Blutvolumen im Gehörgang und dieses wiederum mit dem Blutdruck. Je mehr Blutvolumen vorhanden ist, desto höher ist im Umkehrschluss der Blutdruck.

Obwohl die Pulswellen je nach Person individuell sind, gibt es zur Bestimmung des Blutdrucks einige relevante Schlüsselpunkte, die in der nachfolgenden Grafik veranschaulicht sind:

Abb. 3: Schematische Amplitude der Pulskurve aus einem Photoplethysmogramm und dessen essentielle Merkmale zur Bestimmung des Blutdrucks.

Beginnend mit dem systolischen Fuß startet der Herzzyklus. Das Blutvolumen am Messort Ohr steigt dann kontinuierlich an bis der systolische Peak erreicht ist. Ein weiterer wichtiger Punkt zur Bestimmung des Blutdrucks befindet sich zwischen den beiden Werten: die maximale Steigung des Anschlagpulses. Ist der systolische Peak erreicht, fällt das PPG-Signal und somit auch das Blutvolumen bis zum Punkt der dikrotischen Kerbe. Durch den Schluss der Aortenklappe (= dikrotische Kerbe) sinkt das Blutvolumen kurzzeitig und führt grafisch zu einem lokalen Minimum. Durch das erneute Öffnen der Herzklappen steigt das Blutvolumen (und damit das PPG-Signal) wieder bis zum diastolischen Peak an. Danach fällt es wieder ab und ein neuer Herzzyklus beginnt. Kommt es nun zu Änderungen der oben grafisch dargestellten Charakteristika, ändert sich mit ihnen auch der Blutdruck der gemessenen Person.

Da die PPG-Wellenformen sehr personenspezifisch sind, verwendet cosinuss° einen Kalibrierungsansatz. Dadurch werden Ungewissheiten minimiert und die Blutdruckmessgenauigkeit erhöht. Die komplexe Aufgabe der Blutdruckbestimmung löst ein intern entwickeltes, neuronales Netz. Wichtige Abhängigkeiten und Berechnungen für den Blutdruck finden in den jeweiligen Layern (Ebenen) statt. Die generierten Informationen werden dann in Blutdruckwerte übersetzt.

Jene oben dargestellten Parameter stellen eine Auswahl von vielen dar, die cosinuss° verwendet, um die Herzschläge algorithmisch zur Blutdruckberechnung auszuwerten. Basierend auf dieser Technologie ist cosinuss° in der Lage, den Blutdruck im Gehörgang kontinuierlich zu messen.

Weiterführende Artikel

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