Application of an automatic adaptive filter for Heart Rate Variability analysis

Med Eng Phys. 2013 Dec;35(12):1778-85. doi: 10.1016/j.medengphy.2013.07.009. Epub 2013 Aug 18.


The presence of artifacts and noise effects in temporal series can seriously hinder the analysis of Heart Rate Variability (HRV). The tachograms should be carefully edited to avoid erroneous interpretations. The physician should carefully analyze the tachogram in order to detect points that might be associated with unlikely biophysical behavior and manually eliminate them from the data series. However, this is a time-consuming procedure. To facilitate the pre-analysis of the tachogram, this study uses a method of data filtering based on an adaptive filter which is quickly able to analyze a large amount of data. The method was applied to 229 time series from a database of patients with different clinical conditions: premature newborns, full-term newborns, healthy young adults, adults submitted to a very-low-calorie diet, and adults under preoperative evaluation for coronary artery bypass grafting. This proposed method is compared to the demanding conventional method, wherein the corrections of occasional ectopic beats and artifacts are usually manually executed by a specialist. To confirm the reliability of the results obtained, correlation coefficients were calculated, using both automatic and manual methods of ltering for each HRV index selected. A high correlation between the results was found, with highly significant p values, for all cases, except for some parameters analyzed in the premature newborns group, an issue that is thoroughly discussed. The authors concluded that the proposed adaptive filtering method helps to efficiently handle the task of editing temporal series for HRV analysis.

Keywords: Automatic adaptive filter; Heart Rate Variability; Time series.

MeSH terms

  • Artifacts
  • Automation
  • Heart Function Tests / methods*
  • Heart Rate*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Young Adult