Nonlinear measure of synchrony between blood oxygen saturation and heart rate from nocturnal pulse oximetry in obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome

D Alvarez, R Hornero, D Abásolo, F del Campo, C Zamarrón, M López
Physiological Measurement 2009, 30 (9): 967-82
This study focuses on analysis of the relationship between changes in blood oxygen saturation (SaO(2)) and heart rate (HR) recordings from nocturnal pulse oximetry (NPO) in patients suspected of suffering from obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) syndrome. Two different analyses were developed: a classical frequency analysis based on the magnitude squared coherence (MSC) and a nonlinear analysis by means of a recently developed measure of synchrony, the cross-approximate entropy (cross-ApEn). A data set of 187 subjects was studied. We found significantly higher correlation and synchrony between oximetry signals from OSA positive patients compared with OSA negative subjects. We assessed the diagnostic ability to detect OSA syndrome of both the classical and nonlinear approaches by means of receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses with tenfold cross-validation. The nonlinear measure of synchrony significantly improved the results obtained with classical MSC: 69.2% sensitivity, 90.9% specificity and 78.1% accuracy were reached with MSC, whereas 83.7% sensitivity, 84.3% specificity and 84.0% accuracy were obtained with cross-ApEn. Our results suggest that the use of nonlinear measures of synchrony could provide essential information from oximetry signals, which cannot be obtained with classical spectral analysis.

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