The aim of this study was to provide a normal reference for arm–leg blood pressure gradients in normal pediatric and young-adult patients before and after exercise. We assessed 216 normal participants by physical or echocardiographic exam, maximally tested using the James Cycle Protocol, with arm and leg blood pressures taken pre- and postexercise. Arm–leg gradients significantly increased from –5 mmHg at rest to 4, 2, and 1 mmHg 1, 3, and 4 min postexercise (p < .05). There was a small, statistically significant increase in arm-leg blood pressure with exercise, which is probably clinically insignificant. These data serve as a normal reference.
The authors are with the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Division of Pediatric Cardiology, Cincinnati, OH.