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Upper- vs Lower-Limb Systolic Blood Pressure in Full-term Normal Newborns

Stephen F. Piazza, MD; Manju Chandra, MD; Rita G. Harper, MD; Concepción G. Sia, MD; Melinda McVicar, MD; Helen Huang, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1985;139(8):797-799. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1985.02140100059030.
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• The difference between upper- vs lower-limb systolic blood pressure (BP) was investigated in 100 normal full-term newborns younger than 24 hours of age by the oscillometric method. The mean systolic BP of both upper limbs was 72.3±7.6 mm Hg (mean±SD). The mean±SD systolic BP of both lower limbs was 71.3±8.2 mm Hg. Systolic BP in the upper limb was greater than that in the lower limb in 66% of newborns by as much as 20 mm Hg (mean ± SD, 3.5 ± 3.1). Systolic upper-limb BP was lower than systolic lower-limb BP in 28% of newborns by as much as 21 mm Hg (mean ± SD, 5.1 ± 5.1). Systolic BP did not correlate with birth weight. Follow-up evaluation of BP in 25 of the infants up to 3 years of age revealed higher systolic BP in the lower extremities in 24 of the 25 infants. We conclude that (1) it is normal to have a higher systolic BP in either the upper limb or the lower limb in newborns younger than 24 hours of age, and (2) there is no correlation of systolic BP with birth weight in full-term normal neonates younger than 24 hours of age.

(AJDC 1985;139:797-799)

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