Detection of sleep apnea from surface ECG based on features extracted by an autoregressive model. Article uri icon


  • This study proposes an alternative evaluation of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) based on ECG signal during sleep time. OSA is a common sleep disorder produced by repetitive occlusions in the upper airways. This respiratory disturbance produces a specific pattern on ECG. Extraction of ECG characteristics, as Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and peak R area, offers alternative measures for a sleep apnea pre-diagnosis. 50 recordings coming from the apnea Physionet database were used in the analysis, this database is part of the 70 recordings used for the Computer in Cardiology challenge celebrated in 2000. A bivariate autoregressive model was used to evaluate beat-by-beat power spectral density of HRV and R peak area. K-Nearest Neighbor (KNN) supervised learning classifier was employed for categorizing apnea events from normal ones, on a minute-by-minute basis for each recording. Data were split into two sets, training and testing set, each one with 25 recordings. The classification results showed an accuracy higher than 85%25 in both training and testing. In addition it was possible to separate completely between Apnea and Normal subjects and almost completely among Apnea, Normal and Borderline subjects.

publication date

  • 2007-01-01