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Information transfer in QT-RR dynamics: Application to QT-correction

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Article number14992
Number of pages9
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


The relation between the electrical properties of the heart and the beating rate is essential for the heart functioning. This relation is central when calculating the “corrected QT interval” — an important measure of the risk of potentially lethal arrhythmias. We use the transfer entropy method from information theory to quantitatively study the mutual dynamics of the ventricular action potential duration (the QT interval) and the length of the beat-to-beat (RR) interval. We show that for healthy individuals there is a strong asymmetry in the information transfer: the information flow from RR to QT dominates over the opposite flow (from QT to RR), i.e. QT depends on RR to a larger extent than RR on QT. Moreover, the history of the intervals has a strong effect on the information transfer: at sufficiently long QT history length the information flow asymmetry inverts and the RR influence on QT dynamics weakens. Finally, we demonstrate that the widely used QT correction methods cannot properly capture the changes in the information flows between QT and RR. We conclude that our results obtained through a model-free informational perspective can be utilised to improve and test the QT correction schemes in clinics.

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Field of science, Statistics Finland

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