Detection of epileptic-seizures by means of power spectrum analysis of heart rate variability: a pilot study

Author(s): Jeppesen J, Beniczky S, Fuglsang-Frederiksen A, Sidenius P, Jasemian Y


Objective:To investigate whether epileptic seizures could be predicted or detected by means of spectral analysis of heart rate variability (HRV).

Methods:Six patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (4 females, 2 males) participated in the prospective pilot study while enrolled for video/EEG monitoring (24 h/day, 2-4 days). ECG was continuously recorded and 30 min seizure-sessions (25-30 min pre-seizure to 30 sec-5 min post-seizure onset) and 30 min non-seizure-sessions (day- and night sessions for each patient, as control) were chosen for further HRV-analysis. Low frequency (LF) (0.04-0.15 Hz), High frequencies (HF) (0.15-0.40 Hz), LF/HF, LF/(LF+HF) and reciprocal HF-power was determined using continuous FFT- spectral analysis of 64 R-R interval windowing with maximum overlapping.

Results:Six seizures were recorded and analyzed from three patients (2 females, 1 male). All of the analyzed EEG-correlated seizures showed reciprocal HF-power peaks between 10 sec pre seizure-onset and 24 sec post seizure-onset with peak amplitudes 2.96-93.63 times higher than control maximum peak. For the other parameters we could not find significant difference between seizure and non-seizure sessions.

Conclusion:Specifically high reciprocal HF-power peaks suggest suppressed parasympathetic activity just around seizure-onset time. Seizure detection using HRV-analysis seems to be a promising method for non-invasive seizure detection in the early phase of the clinical event (even preceding the onset).

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