Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Physiol. 1994 Apr;266(4 Pt 2):H1643-56.

Physiological time-series analysis: what does regularity quantify?

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02215.
  • 2Beth Israel Hosp, Boston, MA


Approximate entropy (ApEn) is a recently developed statistic quantifying regularity and complexity that appears to have potential application to a wide variety of physiological and clinical time-series data. The focus here is to provide a better understanding of ApEn to facilitate its proper utilization, application, and interpretation. After giving the formal mathematical description of ApEn, we provide a multistep description of the algorithm as applied to two contrasting clinical heart rate data sets. We discuss algorithm implementation and interpretation and introduce a general mathematical hypothesis of the dynamics of a wide class of diseases, indicating the utility of ApEn to test this hypothesis. We indicate the relationship of ApEn to variability measures, the Fourier spectrum, and algorithms motivated by study of chaotic dynamics. We discuss further mathematical properties of ApEn, including the choice of input parameters, statistical issues, and modeling considerations, and we conclude with a section on caveats to ensure correct ApEn utilization.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center