Bradycardia Assessment in Preterm Infants
Prematurity is a severe condition, usually correlated with critical outcomes. One of the major diseases in preterm infants is bradycardia, defined as the heart rate decreasing under 100 bpm for at least two heartbeats in duration. Usually, bradycardia is considered as a manifestation of immature cardiorespiratory control, but no studies investigated its nature in relation to the different clinical features of preterm infants. Thus, aim of this work is to assess the relation between bradycardia features and the main preterm infant clinical features, weight and gestational age. Ten preterm infants were considered, classified according with three criteria: the weight classification, the gestational age classification and the birth size assessment (that combined the two previous classifications). For each preterm infant, bradycardias are automatically identified and characterized in term of bradycardia features: amplitude, duration and area. Moreover, bradycardia events are classified according with their severity. Finally, bradycardia feature distributions of classes that belong to the same classification criterion were compared. Results seems suggesting that bradycardia features differences are more relevant in preterm infants with different weights than in those with different gestational age, contrary to what expected. Anyway, the best results in term of classification were obtained in the birth size assessment; thus, a combined approach that considers both weight and gestational age is preferable. Moreover, a combined evaluation of amplitude and duration for bradycardia characterization can better assess the severity of this arrhythmia and of the preterm infant clinical status.
KeywordsPreterm infants Bradycardia Preterm classification
Conflict of Interest
All authors have no financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that could inappropriately bias the work.
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