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  • Research Article
  • Open Access

Time-Frequency Analysis of Heart Rate Variability for Neonatal Seizure Detection

EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20072007:050396

  • Received: 1 May 2006
  • Accepted: 2 February 2007
  • Published:


There are a number of automatic techniques available for detecting epileptic seizures using solely electroencephalogram (EEG), which has been the primary diagnosis tool in newborns. The electrocardiogram (ECG) has been much neglected in automatic seizure detection. Changes in heart rate and ECG rhythm were previously linked to seizure in case of adult humans and animals. However, little is known about heart rate variability (HRV) changes in human neonate during seizure. In this paper, we assess the suitability of HRV as a tool for seizure detection in newborns. The features of HRV in the low-frequency band (LF: 0.03–0.07 Hz), mid-frequency band (MF: 0.07–0.15 Hz), and high-frequency band (HF: 0.15–0.6 Hz) have been obtained by means of the time-frequency distribution (TFD). Results of ongoing time-frequency (TF) research are presented. Based on our preliminary results, the first conditional moment of HRV which is the mean/central frequency in the LF band and the variance in the HF band can be used as a good feature to discriminate the newborn seizure from the nonseizure.


  • Heart Rate Variability
  • Epileptic Seizure
  • Adult Human
  • Automatic Technique
  • Conditional Moment

Authors’ Affiliations

Perinatal Research Centre, School of Medicine, University of Queensland, Herston, QLD, 4029, Australia
Signal Processing Research Center, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Sharjah, P.O. Box 27272, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates


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© M. B. Malarvili et al. 2007

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.