Biofeedback and Self-Regulation,
Vol. 21, No. 3, 1996


How Many Sphygmomanometric Cuff Inflations
are Necessary to Obtain a Hemodynamic Baseline?

Mark Goodman
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine and Department of Medicine. The Union Memorial Hospital

Theodore M. Dembroski, and Jeffery H. Herbst
Department of Psychology, University of Maryland Baltimore County

The purpose of this study was to determine the minimum number of consecutive blood pressure cuff inflations required to obtain seated stable resting baseline measurements of heart rate (HR), systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and mean arterial pressure (MAP). Sixty male college students aged 18 to 31 years volunteered as study subjects. Thirteen observations of HR, SBP, DBP, and MAP were recorded at 90-second intervals for each subject using a Critikon-Dinamap monitor. Stable readings for SBP and MAP were obtained in 6.5 minutes or 3 to 5 cuff inflations in the population tested. Using this procedure, additional age- and gender-specific norms could be established for normal and hypertensive subjects. Knowing the approximate quantity and frequency of blood pressure cuff inflations needed to generate baseline minimum measuremeants of HR, SBP, DBP, and MAP will be helpful in studies of cardiovascular reactivity, as well as for clinical and psychophysiologic treatment of hypertension.

Descriptor Key Words: hemodynamic baseline; cardiovascular reactivity; blood pressure.

1. Preparation of this manuscript was supported in part by NHLBI grant No. HL-36027. The authors are especially grateful to Adrienne Arca and Chrysty DeWitt for recording the physiological data, Terri Harold for her assistance in preparing the manuscript, Dr. Marguerite Moran for her insightful comments on an earlier version, and Dr. Elijah Sanders for his direction on this project.
2. Address all correspondence to Mark Goodman, Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, The Union Memorial Hospital, 201 East University Parkway, Baltimore, Maryland 21218-2895. e-mail: GOODMAN@UMBC2.UMBC.EDU.