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IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2017 Jun;64(6):1326-1334. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2016.2603787. Epub 2016 Aug 26.

Automated Identification of Innocent Still's Murmur in Children.



Still's murmur is the most common innocent heart murmur in children. It is also the most commonly misdiagnosed murmur, resulting in a high number of unnecessary referrals to pediatric cardiologist. The purpose of this study was to develop a computer algorithm for automated identification of Still's murmur that may help reduce unnecessary referrals.


We first developed an accurate segmentation algorithm to locate the first and the second heart sounds. Once these sounds were identified, we extracted signal features specific to Still's murmur. Subsequently, machine learning-based classifiers, artificial neural network and support vector machine, were used to identify Still's murmur.


We evaluated our classifiers using the jackknife method using 87 Still's murmurs and 170 non-Still's murmurs. Our algorithm identified Still's murmur accurately with 84-93% sensitivity and 91-99% specificity.


We have achieved accurate automated identification of Still's murmur while minimizing false positives. The performance of our algorithm is comparable to the rate of murmur identification by auscultation by pediatric cardiologists.


To our knowledge, our solution is the first murmur classifier that focuses singularly on Still's murmur. Following further refinement and testing, the presented algorithm could reduce the number of children with Still's murmur referred unnecessarily to pediatric cardiologists.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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