Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing

, Volume 49, Issue 11, pp 1249–1259 | Cite as

Time delay correction of the synchrogram for optimized detection of cardiorespiratory coordination

  • Muammar M. KabirEmail author
  • David A. Saint
  • Eugene Nalivaiko
  • Derek Abbott
  • Mathias Baumert
Original Article


The cardiorespiratory synchrogram, a graphical tool based on the stroboscopic technique, is an established method for evaluating phase-locking between cardiac and respiratory oscillators. In the original method, the phase of the respiratory oscillator is observed at the instants of time when the phase of the cardiac oscillator attains a certain value. In this article, we introduced an additional adaptive delay in the cardiac oscillator based on the maximisation of the cross-correlation or symbolic coupling traces between the phases of respiration and the delayed R–R intervals. We then investigated phase coordination in thirteen normal subjects (five males, eight females; age: 19–24 years) for different body postures. Cardiorespiratory coordination was observed to be significantly reduced in the upright position (supine vs. upright: 11.9 ± 5.1 vs. 6.9 ± 3.6, P < 0.05). Compared to the original algorithm we observed an increase in the detection of average cardiorespiratory coordination (supine original vs. delay: 11.9 vs. 18.9%), together with a decrease in standard deviation of the percentage of coordination in all the subjects, after introducing the heart rate delay (supine original vs. delay: 5.1 vs. 4.4%). In conclusion, the performance of the synchrogram technique was improved by including an adaptive delay in the cardiac oscillator.


Heart Heart rate variability Coupling Breathing frequency Respiratory sinus arrhythmia Phase locking Synchronization 



The research was supported by the Australian Research Council (Grant # DP 110102049).


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Copyright information

© International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Muammar M. Kabir
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • David A. Saint
    • 1
    • 3
  • Eugene Nalivaiko
    • 4
  • Derek Abbott
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mathias Baumert
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Heart Rhythm DisordersThe University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.School of Electrical and Electronic EngineeringThe University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  3. 3.School of Medical SciencesThe University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  4. 4.School of Biomedical Sciences and PharmacyUniversity of NewcastleCallaghanAustralia

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