Monitoring of systolic and diastolic blood pressure is an important part of overall patient assessment. Blood pressure measurement identifies hypertension and hypotension and is an important monitoring tool during anesthesia and in critical care.
Hypertension is a valuable clinical sign to detect disease, even at an early stage. While no data yet exist that define nonfatal endpoints as a result of hypertension (eg, retinal detachment), identification of hypertension through blood pressure measurement may assist the practitioner in assessing risk of target organ damage and limiting further progression of disease. In addition, detection of hypotension in animals with heart disease allows the practitioner to assess response to medications and adjust medication dosages.
Noninvasive blood pressure measurement is based on the Riva-Rocci method: A peripheral artery is occluded completely by an inflated cuff and then the cuff is gradually deflated. When the pressure in the cuff is low enough to allow blood flow, it is defined as the systolic blood pressure measurement.