How should diastolic blood pressure be defined during pregnancy?
Blood Pressure Determination
Controversy exists concerning the most accurate method for defining diastolic blood pressure in pregnancy. Both disappearance (phase V) and muffling (phase IV) of Korotkoff sounds have been advocated. We previously reported an objective noninvasive method for measuring blood pressure, called K2 analysis, which in nonpregnant subjects was not different from intra-arterial diastolic blood pressure and was more accurate than the auscultatory technique. For determination of the relation of diastolic blood pressure (using K2) in pregnancy with muffling and disappearance of Korotkoff sounds, 58 women (42 hypertensive, 16 normotensive) underwent 556 blood pressure evaluations in the supine position at various stages of pregnancy. K2 analysis was compared with simultaneous auscultation by two observers, A1 (n = 461 observations; 364 hypertensive, 97 normotensive) and A2 (n = 415; 316 hypertensive, 99 normotensive). Overall, muffling was detected by observer A1 52.9% (244/461) and by observer A2 44.3% (184/415) of the time. When evaluated by clinical classification, muffling was found by both observers to be present less often in the hypertensive group (A1: 47.5%; A2: 37.3%) compared with the normotensive group (A1: 73.2%; A2: 66.7%) (P < .0001). When both observers were present (n = 348), they agreed that muffling was present only 112 times. Disappearance of sound was detected by both observers 98.3% (A1: 453/461; A2: 408/415) of the time. Muffling overestimated K2 diastolic pressure by 7 to 10 mm Hg, whereas there was no statistically significant difference between disappearance and K2 diastolic pressure for hypertensive subjects and a 2.5-mm Hg underestimation of K2 diastolic pressure for normotensive subjects.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)