Comparison of the Microlife Blood Pressure Monitor With the Omron Blood Pressure Monitor for Detecting Atrial Fibrillation

Publication Date

January 2014

Journal Title

American Journal of Cardiology


Screening for atrial fibrillation (AF) by assessing the pulse is recommended in high-risk patients. Some clinical trials demonstrated that the Micro life blood pressure monitor (BPM) with AF detection is more accurate than pulse palpation. This led to a change in practice guidelines in the United Kingdom where AF screening with the Micro life device is recommended instead of pulse palpation. Many BPMs have irregular heart beat detection, but they have not been shown to detect AF reliably. Recently, one study, in a highly select population, suggested that the Omron BPM with irregular heart beat detection has a higher sensitivity for AF than the Micro life BPM. We compared the Micro life and Omron BPMs to electrocardiographic readings for AF detection in general cardiology patients. Inclusion criteria were age >= 50 years without a pacemaker or defibrillator. A total of 199 subjects were enrolled, 30 with AF. Each subject had a 12-lead electrocardiography, 1 Omron BPM reading, and 3 Micro life BPM readings as per device instructions. The Omron device had a sensitivity of 30% (95% confidence interval [CI] 15.4% to 49.1%) with the sensitivity for the first Micro life reading of 97% (95% CI 81.4% to 100%) and the Micro life readings using the majority rule (AF positive if at least 2 of 3 individual readings were positive for AF) of 100% (95% CI 85.9% to 100%). Specificity for the Omron device was 97% (95% CI 92.5% to 99.2%) and for the first Micro life reading of 90% (95% CI 83.8% to 94.2%) and for the majority rule Micro life device of 92% (95% CI 86.2% to 95.7%; p <0.0001). The specificity of both devices is acceptable, but only the Micro life BPM has a sensitivity value that is high enough to be used for AF screening in clinical practice. (C) 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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