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Detection and Correction of Ectopic Beats for HRV Analysis Applying Discrete Wavelet Transforms

Authors: Desmond B. Keenan


The clinical usefulness of heart rate variability is limited to the range of Holter monitoring software available. These software algorithms require a normal sinus rhythm to accurately acquire heart rate variability (HRV) measures in the frequency domain. Premature ventricular contractions (PVC) or more commonly referred to as ectopic beats, frequent in heart failure, hinder this analysis and introduce ambiguity. This investigation demonstrates an algorithm to automatically detect ectopic beats by analyzing discrete wavelet transform coefficients. Two techniques for filtering and replacing the ectopic beats from the RR signal are compared. One technique applies wavelet hard thresholding techniques and another applies linear interpolation to replace ectopic cycles. The results demonstrate through simulation, and signals acquired from a 24hr ambulatory recorder, that these techniques can accurately detect PVC-s and remove the noise and leakage effects produced by ectopic cycles retaining smooth spectra with the minimum of error.

Keywords: Spectral Analysis, Wavelets, heart rate variability, vagal tone, sympathetic, parasympathetic, ectopic beats

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