Wavelet leader multifractal analysis of heart rate variability in atrial fibrillation.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


Accurate and timely detection of atrial fibrillation (AF) episodes is important in primarily and secondary prevention of ischemic stroke and heart-related problems. In this work, heart rate regularity of ECG inter-beat intervals was investigated in episodes of AF and other rhythms using a wavelet leader based multifractal analysis. Our aim was to improve the detectability of AF episodes.


Inter-beat intervals from 25 ECG recordings available in the MIT-BIH atrial fibrillation database were analysed. Four types of annotated rhythms (atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, AV junctional rhythm, and other rhythms) were available. A wavelet leader based multifractal analysis was applied to 5 min non-overlapping windows of each recording to estimate the multifractal spectrum in each window. The width of the multifractal spectrum was analysed for its discrimination power between rhythm episodes.


In 10 of 25 recordings, the width of multifractal spectrum was significantly lower in episodes of AF than in other rhythms indicating increased regularity during AF. High classification accuracy (95%) of AF episodes was achieved using a combination of features derived from the multifractal analysis and statistical central moment features.


An increase in the regularity of inter-beat intervals was observed during AF episodes by means of multifractal analysis. Multifractal features may be used to improve AF detection accuracy.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gadhoumi, K; Do, D; Badilini, F; Pelter, MM; Hu, X

Published Date

  • November 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 51 / 6S

Start / End Page

  • S83 - S87

PubMed ID

  • 30177367

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6263832

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-8430

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-0736

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jelectrocard.2018.08.030


  • eng