The highlights of Updated clinical practice guideline developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for the diagnosis and management of high blood pressure in children are new blood pressure (BP) tables, revised screening protocols, and recommendations for initiating antihypertensive medication.These pediatric hypertension guidelines are an update to the 2004 “Fourth Report on the Diagnosis, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure in Children and Adolescents.”
Significant changes in these guidelines include-
(1) the replacement of the term “prehypertension” with the term “elevated blood pressure,”
(2) new normative pediatric blood pressure (BP) tables based on normal-weight children,
(3) a simplified screening table for identifying BPs needing further evaluation,
(4) a simplified BP classification in adolescents ≥13 years of age that aligns with the forthcoming American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology adult BP guidelines,
(5) a more limited recommendation to perform screening BP measurements only at preventive care visits,
(6) streamlined recommendations on the initial evaluation and management of abnormal BPs,
(7) an expanded role for ambulatory BP monitoring in the diagnosis and management of pediatric hypertension, and
(8) revised recommendations on when to perform echocardiography in the evaluation of newly diagnosed hypertensive pediatric patients (generally only before medication initiation), along with a revised definition of left ventricular hypertrophy.
These guidelines include 30 Key Action Statements and 27 additional recommendations derived from a comprehensive review of almost 15 000 published articles between January 2004 and July 2016. Each Key Action Statement includes a level of evidence, benefit-harm relationship, and strength of recommendation. This clinical practice guideline, endorsed by the American Heart Association, is intended to foster a patient- and family-centered approach to care, reduce unnecessary and costly medical interventions, improve patient diagnoses and outcomes, support implementation, and provide direction for future research.
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