This study was performed to compare continuous Finapres (FIN) and intrabrachial (IAP) blood pressure in healthy elderly volunteers. Fifteen elderly subjects (age 71 to 83) without cardiovascular disease and an intraarterial mean (range) systolic and diastolic blood pressure of 162 (122 to 195) and 73 (62 to 88) mm Hg, respectively, participated in the study. A 10-min head-up tilt, 10 min active standing, a 15-sec Valsalva, and a 5-min mental arithmetic were performed in random order. Beat-to-beat values of systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial pressure were analyzed. At rest, FIN underestimated IAP by 16.8 +/- 2.6 (SE), 10.8 +/- 1.5, and 17.5 +/- 1.6 mm Hg for systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial blood pressure, respectively (P < .05). During head-up tilt, FIN overestimated the intraarterial systolic blood pressure response by 7.2 +/- 1.6 (SE) mm Hg (P < .05). Group-averaged changes in diastolic and mean arterial IAP were followed closely by FIN. During standing, Finapres closely followed intraarterial diastolic and mean arterial pressure but the increase in systolic blood pressure was higher at the finger as compared to intrabrachial recordings, resembling the results of head-up tilt. During the Valsalva maneuver, maximal responses in systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial pressure were underestimated by FIN by 12.1 +/- 3.3 (SE), 6.8 +/- 2.7, and 7.1 +/- 1.7 mm Hg, respectively (P < .05 for all parameters). During mental arithmetic, FIN underestimated the intraarterial systolic blood pressure response by 6.1 +/- 2.7 (SE) mm Hg (P < .05), while diastolic and mean arterial pressure responses were followed correctly by FIN. It is concluded that apart from systolic blood pressure, FIN closely follows intraarterial blood pressure responses for the orthostatic maneuvers and mental arithmetic. During Valsalva, the rapid changes in blood pressure were followed in direction but not in magnitude.