How is blood pressure measured in the assessment of diabetic neuropathy?

Updated: Jul 23, 2019
  • Author: Dianna Quan, MD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Answer

Blood pressure and heart rate measurements with the patient supine and upright are compared. Blood pressure measurements in patients with autonomic neuropathy may show orthostatic hypotension with reduced compensatory tachycardia. Testing for orthostatic hypotension is particularly important in patients with longstanding diabetes mellitus. [53]

The sinus arrhythmia (SA) ratio is measured with the patient breathing 6 times per minute while the heart rate is monitored with a continuous ECG strip. The longest R-R interval during expiration and the shortest R-R interval during inspiration are measured, and the average of the 6 breaths is taken. The SA ratio is R-R expiration/R-R inspiration. The normal ratio is 1:2.


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