Image_1_Comparability of Heart Rate Turbulence Methodology: 15 Intervals Suffice to Calculate Turbulence Slope – A Methodological Analysis Using Physi.pdf (82.3 kB)
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Image_1_Comparability of Heart Rate Turbulence Methodology: 15 Intervals Suffice to Calculate Turbulence Slope – A Methodological Analysis Using PhysioNet Data of 1074 Patients.pdf

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posted on 06.04.2022, 04:21 by Valeria Blesius, Christopher Schölzel, Gernot Ernst, Andreas Dominik

Heart rate turbulence (HRT) is a characteristic heart rate pattern triggered by a ventricular premature contraction (VPC). It can be used to assess autonomic function and health risk for various conditions, e.g., coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathy. While comparability is essential for scientific analysis, especially for research focusing on clinical application, the methodology of HRT still varies widely in the literature. Particularly, the ECG measurement and parameter calculation of HRT differs, including the calculation of turbulence slope (TS). In this article, we focus on common variations in the number of intervals after the VPC that are used to calculate TS (#TSRR) posing two questions: 1) Does a change in #TSRR introduce noticeable changes in HRT parameter values and classification? and 2) Do larger values of turbulence timing (TT) enabled by a larger #TSRR still represent distinct HRT? We compiled a free-access data set of 1,080 annotated long-term ECGs provided by Physionet. HRT parameter values and risk classes were determined both with #TSRR 15 and 20. A standard local tachogram was created by averaging the tachograms of only the files with the best heart rate variability values. The shape of this standard VPC sequence was compared to all VPC sequences grouped by their TT value using dynamic time warping (DTW) in order to identify HRT shapes. When calculated with different #TSRR, our results show only a little difference between the number of files with enough valid VPC sequences to calculate HRT (<1%) and files with different risk classes (5 and 6% for HRT0-2 and HRTA-C, respectively). In the DTW analysis, the difference between averaged sequences with a specific TT and the standard sequence increased with increasing TT. Our analysis suggests that HRT occurs in the early intervals after the VPC and TS calculated from late intervals reflects common heart rate variability rather than a distinct response to the VPC. Even though the differences in classification are marginal, this can lead to problems in clinical application and scientific research. Therefore, we recommend uniformly using #TSRR 15 in HRT analysis.

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