Pseudohypertension, also known as pseudohypertension in the elderly, noncompressibility artery syndrome, and Osler's sign of pseudohypertension is a falsely elevated blood pressure reading obtained through sphygmomanometry due to calcification of blood vessels which cannot be compressed.[1] There is normal blood pressure when it is measured from within the artery.[2] This condition however is associated with significant cardiovascular disease risk.[2]

Because the stiffened arterial walls of arteriosclerosis do not compress with pressure normally, the blood pressure reading is theoretically higher than the true intra-arterial measurement.

To perform the test, one first inflates the blood pressure cuff above systolic pressure to obliterate the radial pulse. One then attempts to palpate the radial artery, a positive test is if it remains palpable as a firm "tube".

It occurs frequently in the elderly irrespective of them being hypertensive, and has moderate to modest intraobserver and interobserver agreement.[3] It is also known as "Osler's maneuver".[4][5]

The sign is named for William Osler.

See also


  1. "THE MERCK MANUAL OF GERIATRICS, Ch. 85, Hypertension". Retrieved 2008-12-20.
  2. Franklin, SS; Wilkinson, IB; McEniery, CM (February 2012). "Unusual hypertensive phenotypes: what is their significance?". Hypertension. 59 (2): 173–8. doi:10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.111.182956. PMID 22184330.
  3. Physical Diagnosis Secrets. Second Edition. Salvatore Mangione, MD
  4. Messerli FH (May 1986). "Osler's maneuver, pseudohypertension, and true hypertension in the elderly". Am. J. Med. 80 (5): 906–10. doi:10.1016/0002-9343(86)90636-4. PMID 2939716.
  5. Belmin J, Visintin JM, Salvatore R, Sebban C, Moulias R (January 1995). "Osler's maneuver: absence of usefulness for the detection of pseudohypertension in an elderly population". Am. J. Med. 98 (1): 42–9. doi:10.1016/S0002-9343(99)80079-5. PMID 7825617.

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