Optimal parameters study for sample entropy-based atrial fibrillation organization analysis

Comput Methods Programs Biomed. 2010 Jul;99(1):124-32. doi: 10.1016/j.cmpb.2010.02.009. Epub 2010 Apr 13.


Sample entropy (SampEn) is a nonlinear regularity index that requires the a priori selection of three parameters: the length of the sequences to be compared, m, the patterns similarity tolerance, r, and the number of samples under analysis, N. Appropriate values for m, r and N have been recommended and widely used in the literature for the application of SampEn to some physiological time series, such as heart rate, hormonal data, etc. However, no guidelines exist for the selection of that values in other cases. Therefore, an optimal parameters study should be required for the application of SampEn to not previously analyzed biomedical signals. In the present work, a thorough analysis on the optimal values for m, r and N is presented within the context of atrial fibrillation (AF) organization estimation, computed from surface electrocardiogram recordings. Recently, the evaluation of AF organization through SampEn, has revealed clinically useful information that could be used for a better treatment of this arrhythmia. The present study analyzed optimal SampEn parameter values within two different scenarios of AF organization estimation, such as the prediction of paroxysmal AF termination and the electrical cardioversion outcome in persistent AF. As a result, interesting recommendations about the selection of m, r and N, together with the relationship between N and the sampling rate (f(s)) were obtained. More precisely, (i) the proportion between N and f(s) should be higher than 1s and f(s)>or=256 Hz, (ii) overlapping between adjacent N-length windows does not improve AF organization estimation with respect to the analysis of non-overlapping windows, and (iii) values of m and r maximizing successful classification for the analyzed AF databases should be considered within a range wider than the proposed in the literature for heart rate analysis, i.e. m=1 and m=2 and r between 0.1 and 0.25 times the standard deviation of the data.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Atrial Fibrillation / physiopathology*
  • Electrocardiography / methods
  • Entropy
  • Heart Rate
  • Regression Analysis