In most patients having noncardiac surgery, blood pressure is measured with the oscillometric upper arm cuff method. Although the method is noninvasive and practical, it is known to overestimate intraarterial pressure in hypotension and to underestimate it in hypertension. A high-fidelity upper arm cuff incorporating a hydraulic sensor pad was recently developed. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether noninvasive blood pressure measurements with the new high-fidelity cuff correspond to invasive measurements with a femoral artery catheter, especially at low blood pressure.

Simultaneous measurements of blood pressure recorded from a femoral arterial catheter and from the high-fidelity upper arm cuff were compared in 110 patients having major abdominal surgery or neurosurgery.


550 pairs of blood pressure measurements (5 pairs per patient) were considered for analysis. For mean arterial pressure measurements, the average bias was 0 mmHg, and the precision was 3 mmHg. The Pearson correlation coefficient was 0.96 (P < 0.0001; 95% CI, 0.96 to 0.97), and the percentage error was 9%. Error grid analysis showed that the proportions of mean arterial pressure measurements done with the high-fidelity cuff method were 98.4% in zone A (no risk), 1.6% in zone B (low risk) and 0% in zones C, D, and E (moderate, significant, and dangerous risk, respectively). The high-fidelity cuff method detected mean arterial pressure values less than 65 mmHg with a sensitivity of 84% (95% CI, 74 to 92%) and a specificity of 97% (95% CI, 95% to 98%). To detect changes in mean arterial pressure of more than 5 mmHg, the concordance rate between the two methods was 99.7%. Comparable accuracy and precision were observed for systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements.


The new high-fidelity upper arm cuff method met the current international standards in terms of accuracy and precision. It was also very accurate to track changes in blood pressure and reliably detect severe hypotension during noncardiac surgery.

Editor’s Perspective
What We Already Know about This Topic
  • Oscillometric blood pressure assessments are routine in surgical patients and most clinical environments but are considerably less accurate than generally appreciated
What This Article Tells Us That Is New
  • A novel noninvasive upper arm system using hydraulic coupling technology provides accurate and precise estimates of the systolic, mean, and diastolic pressure compared with direct measurements of the femoral arteries