Pulse Pressure Calculator

Determines the difference between the systolic and the diastolic blood pressure.

Refer to the text below the tool for more information about pulse pressure.


Pulse Pressure (PP) is the difference between the systolic and the diastolic blood pressure, measured in milometers of mercury (mmHg). Resting blood pressure is normally around 120 / 80 mmHg so the resting pulse pressure is 40 mmHg.

PP is almost proportional to stroke volume (the amount of blood pumped by the left ventricle during systole) and inversely proportional to compliance.


Pulse Pressure (PP) = Systolic Blood Pressure – Diastolic Blood Pressure

Normal ranges

Parameter Normal Low (mmHg) Normal High (mmHg)
Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP) 100 140
Diastolic Blood Pressure (DBP) 60 90
Pulse Pressure (PP) 40 60

Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP)
Diastolic Blood Pressure (DBP)
  Embed  Print  Share 

Send Us Your Feedback

Steps on how to print your input & results:

1. Fill in the calculator/tool with your values and/or your answer choices and press Calculate.

2. Then you can click on the Print button to open a PDF in a separate window with the inputs and results. You can further save the PDF or print it.

Please note that once you have closed the PDF you need to click on the Calculate button before you try opening it again, otherwise the input and/or results may not appear in the pdf.


 

Pulse Pressure Explained

Pulse Pressure (PP) is the difference between the systolic and the diastolic blood pressure, measured in milometers of mercury (mmHg). Resting blood pressure is normally around 120 / 80 mmHg so the resting pulse pressure is 40 mmHg.

PP is almost proportional to stroke volume (the amount of blood pumped by the left ventricle during systole) and inversely proportional to compliance.

Pulse Pressure (PP) = Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP) – Diastolic Blood Pressure (DBP)

Normal ranges

Parameter Normal Low (mmHg) Normal High (mmHg)
Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP) 100 140
Diastolic Blood Pressure (DBP) 60 90
Pulse Pressure (PP) 40 60
 

Low Pulse Pressure

PP is considered abnormally low if it is less than 25% of the systolic blood pressure and the most common cause is a drop in left ventricular stroke volume (in trauma – a sign of reduced cardiac output due to significant blood loss). Conditions with low PP include:

  • congenital heart failure;
  • cardiogenic shock;
  • aortic valve stenosis;
  • tachycardia;
  • constrictive pericarditis;
  • pericardial effusion;
  • ascites.
 

High Pulse Pressure

High PP values can be observed with exercise in healthy patients (due to increase in stroke volume), because during aerobic exercise the systolic pressure increases whilst the diastolic pressure remains the same.

If, however, the resting PP is constantly greater than 100 mmHg then stiffness of the major arteries, aortic regurgitation or other conditions may be suspected:

  • Isolated Systolic Hypertension;
  • Thyrotoxicosis;
  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus;
  • Arteriovenous fistula;
  • Beriberi heart;
  • Aortic Coarctation;
  • Anemia.

PP values greater than 60 mmHg are considered a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, especially for older adults.

Elevated pulse pressure treatment may include ACE inhibitor medication.

 

References

Homan, TD, Cichowski, E, Physiology, Pulse Pressure. NCBI Bookshelf. PMID 29494015.

Franklin SS, Gustin W 4th, Wong ND, et al. Hemodynamic patterns of age-related changes in blood pressure. The Framingham Heart Study. Circulation 1997; 96:308.

Pastor-Barriuso R, Banegas JR, Damián J, et al. Systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and pulse pressure: an evaluation of their joint effect on mortality. Ann Intern Med 2003; 139:731.


Specialty: Cardiology

System: Cardiovascular

Abbreviation: PP

Article By: Denise Nedea

Published On: June 5, 2020

Last Checked: June 5, 2020

Next Review: June 5, 2025