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Med Biol Eng Comput. 2011 Nov;49(11):1249-59. doi: 10.1007/s11517-011-0822-3. Epub 2011 Aug 10.

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

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  • 1Centre for Heart Rhythm Disorders, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia.


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.

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