Background: The third and fourth heart sound (S3 and S4) are two abnormal heart sound components which are proved to be indicators of heart failure during diastolic period. The combination of using diastolic heart sounds with the standard ECG as a measurement of ventricular dysfunction may improve the noninvasive diagnosis and early detection of myocardial ischemia.
Methods: In this paper, an adaptive method based on time-frequency analysis is proposed to detect the presence of S3 and S4. Heart sound signals during diastolic periods were analyzed with Hilbert-Huang Transform (HHT). A discrete plot of maximal instantaneous frequency and its amplitude was generated and clustered. S3 and S4 were recognized by the clustered points, and performance of the method was further enhanced by period definition and iteration tracking.
Results: Using the proposed method, S3 and S4 could be detected adaptively in a same method. 90.3% of heart sound cycles with S3 were detected using our method, 9.6% were missed, and 9.6% were false positive. 94% of S4 were detected using our method, 5.5% were missed, and 16% were false positive.
Conclusions: The proposed method is adaptive for detecting low-amplitude and low-frequency S3 and S4 simultaneously compared with previous detection methods, which would be practical in primary care.