Time-frequency analysis of heart rate variability for neonatal seizure detection

M. B. Malarvili*, Mostefa Mesbah, Boualem Boashash

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number50396
JournalEurasip Journal on Advances in Signal Processing
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006


  • Heart rate variability (HRV)
  • Newborn seizure detection
  • Time-frequency distributions (TFDs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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