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A unified framework for multi-lead ECG characterization using Laplacian Eigenmaps

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Background.The analysis of multi-lead electrocardiographic (ECG) signals requires integrating the information derived from each lead to reach clinically relevant conclusions. This analysis could benefit from data-driven methods compacting the information in those leads into lower-dimensional representations (i.e. 2 or 3 dimensions instead of 12).Objective.We propose Laplacian Eigenmaps (LE) to create a unified framework where ECGs from different subjects can be compared and their abnormalities are enhanced.Approach.We conceive a normal reference ECG space based on LE, calculated using signals of healthy subjects in sinus rhythm. Signals from new subjects can be mapped onto this reference space creating a loop per heartbeat that captures ECG abnormalities. A set of parameters, based on distance metrics and on the shape of loops, are proposed to quantify the differences between subjects.Main results.This methodology was applied to find structural and arrhythmogenic changes in the ECG. The LE framework consistently captured the characteristics of healthy ECGs, confirming that normal signals behaved similarly in the LE space. Significant differences between normal signals, and those from patients with ischemic heart disease or dilated cardiomyopathy were detected. In contrast, LE biomarkers did not identify differences between patients with cardiomyopathy and a history of ventricular arrhythmia and their matched controls.Significance.This LE unified framework offers a new representation of multi-lead signals, reducing dimensionality while enhancing imperceptible abnormalities and enabling the comparison of signals of different subjects.
Journal: Physiological Measurement
ISSN: 0967-3334
Issue: 7
Volume: 44
Publication year:2023
Accessibility:Open