A low-complexity data-adaptive approach for premature ventricular contraction recognition


Premature ventricular contraction (PVC) may lead to life-threatening cardiac conditions. Real-time automated PVC recognition approaches provide clinicians the useful tools for timely diagnosis if dangerous conditions surface in their patients. Based on the morphological differences of the PVC beats in the ventricular depolarization phase (QRS complex) and repolarization phase (mainly T-wave), two beat-to-beat template-matching procedures were implemented to identify them. Both templates were obtained by a probability-based approach and hence were fully data-adaptive. A PVC recognizer was then established by analyzing the correlation coefficients from the two template-matching procedures. Our approach was trained on 22 ECG recordings from the MIT-BIH arrhythmia database (MIT-BIH-AR) and then tested on another 22 nonoverlapping recordings from the same database. The PVC recognition accuracy was 98.2 %, with the sensitivity and positive predictivity of 93.1 and 81.4 %, respectively. To evaluate its robustness against noise, our approach was applied again to the above testing set, but this time, the ECGs were not preprocessed. A comparable performance was still obtained. A good generalization capability was also confirmed by validating our approach on an independent St. Petersburg Institute of Cardiological Technics database. In addition, our performance was comparable with these published complex approaches. In conclusion, we have developed a low-complexity data-adaptive PVC recognition approach with good robustness against noise and generalization capability. Its performance is comparable to other state-of-the-art methods, demonstrating a good potential in real-time application.

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We would like to thank Mr. Jian Li and Miss. Xiuhua Ruan of Shandong University for their aids in the ECG data analysis and statistics and Dr. M. Llamedo of the University of Zaragoza for providing the useful MATLAB manuscript for manipulating recordings in the INCART database. We also thank the anonymous reviewers who gave valuable suggestion that has helped us to improve the quality of the manuscript. This work is supported by the Graduate Independent Innovation Foundation of Shandong University (GIIFSDU, yzc12082), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (61201049), the Excellent Young Scientist Awarded Foundation of Shandong Province (BS2012DX019) and the Independent Innovation Foundation of Shandong University (IIFSDU, 2011GN069).

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Correspondence to Changchun Liu.

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Li, P., Liu, C., Wang, X. et al. A low-complexity data-adaptive approach for premature ventricular contraction recognition. SIViP 8, 111–120 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11760-013-0478-6

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  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Premature ventricular contraction (PVC)
  • Low-complexity
  • Data-adaptive
  • Template matching