Variability analysis of discrete event series and wavefront patterns in surface electrocardiogram: contributions to psychophysiological and clinical research

Di Marco, Luigi Yuri (2012) Variability analysis of discrete event series and wavefront patterns in surface electrocardiogram: contributions to psychophysiological and clinical research, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Bioingegneria, 24 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/4392.
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The surface electrocardiogram (ECG) is an established diagnostic tool for the detection of abnormalities in the electrical activity of the heart. The interest of the ECG, however, extends beyond the diagnostic purpose. In recent years, studies in cognitive psychophysiology have related heart rate variability (HRV) to memory performance and mental workload. The aim of this thesis was to analyze the variability of surface ECG derived rhythms, at two different time scales: the discrete-event time scale, typical of beat-related features (Objective I), and the “continuous” time scale of separated sources in the ECG (Objective II), in selected scenarios relevant to psychophysiological and clinical research, respectively. Objective I) Joint time-frequency and non-linear analysis of HRV was carried out, with the goal of assessing psychophysiological workload (PPW) in response to working memory engaging tasks. Results from fourteen healthy young subjects suggest the potential use of the proposed indices in discriminating PPW levels in response to varying memory-search task difficulty. Objective II) A novel source-cancellation method based on morphology clustering was proposed for the estimation of the atrial wavefront in atrial fibrillation (AF) from body surface potential maps. Strong direct correlation between spectral concentration (SC) of atrial wavefront and temporal variability of the spectral distribution was shown in persistent AF patients, suggesting that with higher SC, shorter observation time is required to collect spectral distribution, from which the fibrillatory rate is estimated. This could be time and cost effective in clinical decision-making. The results held for reduced leads sets, suggesting that a simplified setup could also be considered, further reducing the costs. In designing the methods of this thesis, an online signal processing approach was kept, with the goal of contributing to real-world applicability. An algorithm for automatic assessment of ambulatory ECG quality, and an automatic ECG delineation algorithm were designed and validated.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Di Marco, Luigi Yuri
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze e ingegneria dell'informazione
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
joint time-frequency analysis; heart rate variability; atrial fibrillation;
Data di discussione
20 Aprile 2012

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