Efficient method for events detection in phonocardiographic signals
Abstract—The auscultation of the heart is still the first basic analysis tool used to evaluate the functional state of the heart, as well as the first indicator used to submit the patient to a cardiologist. In order to improve the diagnosis capabilities of auscultation, signal processing algorithms are currently being developed to assist the physician at primary care centers for adult and pediatric population. A basic task for the diagnosis from the phonocardiogram is to detect the events (main and additional sounds, murmurs and clicks) present in the cardiac cycle. This is usually made by applying a threshold and detecting the events that are bigger than the threshold.< Final Year Projects > However, this method usually does not allow the detection of the main sounds when additional sounds and murmurs exist, or it may join several events into a unique one. In this paper we present a reliable method to detect the events present in the phonocardiogram, even in the presence of heart murmurs or additional sounds. The method detects relative maxima peaks in the amplitude envelope of the phonocardiogram, and computes a set of parameters associated with each event. Finally, a set of characteristics is extracted from each event to aid in the identification of the events. Besides, the morphology of the murmurs is also detected, which aids in the differentiation of different diseases that can occur in the same temporal localization. The algorithms have been applied to real normal heart sounds and murmurs, achieving satisfactory results. This work has been supported by Fundación Séneca of Región de Murcia and Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología of Spain, under grants PB/63/FS/02 and TIC2003-09400-C04-02, respectively.
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