Automatic blood pressure monitors give you a systolic and diastolic blood pressure reading. Many of them also include a small number in parentheses underneath or beside your standard blood pressure reading. This number in parentheses is the mean arterial pressure (MAP).
MAP is a calculation that doctors use to check whether there’s enough blood flow to supply blood to all your major organs. Too much resistance and pressure may impede that flow.
“Resistance” refers to the way the width of a blood vessel impacts blood flow. For example, it’s harder for blood to flow through a narrow artery. As resistance in your arteries increases, blood pressure also increases while the flow of blood decreases.
You can also think of MAP as the average pressure in your arteries throughout one cardiac cycle, which includes the series of events that happen every time your heart beats.
Keep reading to learn more about the normal, high, and low ranges of MAP and what they mean.
In general, most people need a MAP of at least
A MAP in this range indicates that there’s enough consistent pressure in your arteries to deliver blood throughout your body.
A high MAP is anything
High blood pressure can put people at risk for a number of conditions. These can also
Low blood pressure puts people at risk for certain conditions, and these can also
In order to calculate your MAP, you need to know your diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and systolic blood pressure (SDP) values. You then follow this equation:
In some cases, in the hospital, a doctor may place a central line in a person and use that to
You can also calculate a MAP value automatically here.
An unusual MAP is usually a sign of an underlying condition or problem in the body, so the treatment depends on the cause. causes may include heart conditions, Sepsis, stroke, internal bleeding, and more.
For a low MAP, treatment may focus on safely raising blood pressure quickly to avoid organ damage. This is usually done with:
- intravenous fluids or blood transfusions to increase blood flow
- medications called “vasopressors” that tighten blood vessels, which can increase blood pressure and make the heart beat faster or pump harder
Depending on the cause, treating a high MAP may also require quick action, in this case, to reduce overall blood pressure. This
Once the blood pressure is under control, the doctor can continue treating the underlying cause. This may involve:
- breaking up a stroke-causing blood clot
- inserting a stent into a coronary artery to keep it open
MAP is an important measurement that accounts for flow, resistance, and pressure within your arteries. It allows doctors to evaluate how well blood flows through your body and whether it’s reaching all your major organs.
Most people do best with a MAP between 70 and 110 mm Hg. Anything much higher or lower can be a sign of an underlying problem. However, this is typically most applicable as a measurement for inpatient procedures and hospitalized patients.