Lempel-Ziv complexity dynamics in early detection of cardiac autonomic neuropathy in diabetes

Daniel Abasolo, Herbert Jelinek

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review


Early detection of cardiac autonomic neuropathy (CAN) in patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) is of prime importance, as it will facilitate the prevention of its serious consequences. In the present work, the non-linear dynamics of electrocardiogram (ECG) recordings in 41 Type 2 DM patients with early CAN and 40 controls without clinical signs and symptoms of CAN were analysed with different implementations of Lempel-Ziv (LZ) complexity. LZ complexity is a non-linear analysis method that estimates the complexity of time series of finite length and reflects the arising rate of new patterns along the sequence. Results suggest that ECG traces are less complex in patients with early CAN than in those with no CAN. Differences were statistically significant (p < 0.05, Kruskal-Wallis test) when the LZ complexity was implemented with a three symbol conversion and the mean used to define the thresholds. Furthermore, the discriminative abilities of the different LZ complexity implementations in the context of CAN were evaluated with ROC curves. Accuracies over 65% were obtained when the mean was used to define the thresholds, with a sensitivity of 75.61% with a two symbol conversion. Our results suggest that LZ complexity might be a useful tool for an early detection of CAN from ECG recordings. Nevertheless, further studies are needed to address the possible usefulness of this methodology in the characterisation and early detection of CAN in type 2 DM patients.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of BioMed 2012
Place of PublicationCanada
PublisherACTA Press
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventThe 9th IASTED International Conference on Biomechanical Engineering: BioMed 2012 - Grand Hotel Europa, Innsbruck, Austria
Duration: 15 Feb 201217 Feb 2012
http://www.iasted.org/conferences/2012/innsbruck/biomed/pdfs/BioMed_CFP.pdf (Call for papers)

Publication series

ISSN (Print)1929-9796
ISSN (Electronic)1929-980X


ConferenceThe 9th IASTED International Conference on Biomechanical Engineering
Internet address


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