Waveform characterization of atrial fibrillation using phase information

IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2009 Apr;56(4):1081-9. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2008.2006624. Epub 2008 Oct 31.


A novel method for characterization of f-wave morphology in atrial fibrillation (AF) is presented. The method decomposes atrial activity into fundamental and harmonic components, dividing each component into short blocks for which the amplitudes, frequencies, and phases are estimated. The phase delays between the fundamental and each of the harmonics, here referred to as harmonic phase relationships, are used as features of f-wave morphology. The estimated waves are clustered into typical morphologic patterns. The performance of the method is illustrated by simulated signals, ECG signals recorded from 36 patients with organized AF, and an ECG signal recorded during drug loading with flecainide. The results show that the method can distinguish a wide variety of f-wave morphologies, and that typical morphologies can be established for further analysis of AF.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Atrial Fibrillation / diagnosis*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / physiopathology
  • Electrocardiography*
  • Humans
  • Models, Cardiovascular*
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted*