A healthcare worker measuring blood pressure using a sphygmomanometer.
A digital sphygmomanometer used for measuring blood pressure
Overview of main complications of persistent high blood pressure
Cardiac systole and diastole
Blood flow velocity waveforms in the central retinal artery (red) and vein (blue), measured by laser Doppler imaging in the eye fundus of a healthy volunteer.
Schematic of pressures in the circulation
A schematic representation of the arterial pressure waveform over one cardiac cycle. The notch in the curve is associated with closing of the aortic valve.
Taking blood pressure with a sphygmomanometer

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps out blood.

- Hypotension

Blood pressure that is too low is called hypotension, pressure that is consistently too high is called hypertension, and normal pressure is called normotension.

- Blood pressure
A healthcare worker measuring blood pressure using a sphygmomanometer.

4 related topics

Alpha

A non-pneumatic anti-shock garment (NASG)

Shock (circulatory)

State of insufficient blood flow to the tissues of the body as a result of problems with the circulatory system.

State of insufficient blood flow to the tissues of the body as a result of problems with the circulatory system.

A non-pneumatic anti-shock garment (NASG)
Effects of inadequate perfusion on cell function.
Epinephrine auto-injector
Sepsis mortality

A decreased pulse pressure (systolic blood pressure minus diastolic blood pressure) or a fast heart rate raises concerns.

The heart rate divided by systolic blood pressure, known as the shock index (SI), of greater than 0.8 supports the diagnosis more than low blood pressure or a fast heart rate in isolation.

Vertigo, the sensation of one's surroundings spinning around them, is a common symptom of dizziness.

Dizziness

Imprecise term that can refer to a sense of disorientation in space, vertigo, or lightheadedness.

Imprecise term that can refer to a sense of disorientation in space, vertigo, or lightheadedness.

Vertigo, the sensation of one's surroundings spinning around them, is a common symptom of dizziness.

A sudden fall in blood pressure

Low blood pressure (hypotension)

Transmission electron micrograph showing vasoconstriction of a microvessel by pericytes and endothelial cells resulting in the deformation of an erythrocyte (E).

Vasoconstriction

Narrowing of the blood vessels resulting from contraction of the muscular wall of the vessels, in particular the large arteries and small arterioles.

Narrowing of the blood vessels resulting from contraction of the muscular wall of the vessels, in particular the large arteries and small arterioles.

Transmission electron micrograph showing vasoconstriction of a microvessel by pericytes and endothelial cells resulting in the deformation of an erythrocyte (E).

Many are used in medicine to treat hypotension and as topical decongestants.

Vasoconstrictors are also used clinically to increase blood pressure or to reduce local blood flow.

A myocardial infarction occurs when an atherosclerotic plaque slowly builds up in the inner lining of a coronary artery and then suddenly ruptures, causing catastrophic thrombus formation, totally occluding the artery and preventing blood flow downstream.

Myocardial infarction

A myocardial infarction (MI), commonly known as a heart attack, occurs when blood flow decreases or stops to the coronary artery of the heart, causing damage to the heart muscle.

A myocardial infarction (MI), commonly known as a heart attack, occurs when blood flow decreases or stops to the coronary artery of the heart, causing damage to the heart muscle.

A myocardial infarction occurs when an atherosclerotic plaque slowly builds up in the inner lining of a coronary artery and then suddenly ruptures, causing catastrophic thrombus formation, totally occluding the artery and preventing blood flow downstream.
Cross section showing anterior left ventricle wall infarction
Diagram showing the blood supply to the heart by the two major blood vessels, the left and right coronary arteries (labelled LCA and RCA). A myocardial infarction (2) has occurred with blockage of a branch of the left coronary artery (1).
A 12-lead ECG showing an inferior STEMI due to reduced perfusion through the right coronary artery. Elevation of the ST segment can be seen in leads II, III and aVF.
ECG : AMI with ST elevation in V2-4
Inserting a stent to widen the artery.

Other less common symptoms include weakness, light-headedness, palpitations, and abnormalities in heart rate or blood pressure.

A myocardial infarction may result from a heart with a limited blood supply subject to increased oxygen demands, such as in fever, a fast heart rate, hyperthyroidism, too few red blood cells in the bloodstream, or low blood pressure.