Phase asymmetry of heart rate variability signal

C. K. Karmakar, A. H. Khandoker, M. Palaniswami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Heart rate asymmetry (HRA) is considered as a physiological phenomenon in healthy subjects. In this article, we propose a novel HRA index, Slope Index (SI), to quantify phase asymmetry of heart rate variability (HRV) system. We assessed the performance of proposed index in comparison with conventional (Guzik's Index (GI) and Porta's Index (PI)) HRA indices. As illustrative examples, we used two case studies: (i) differentiate physiologic RR series from synthetic RR series; and (ii) discriminate arrhythmia subjects from Healthy using beat-to-beat heart rate time series. The results showed that SI is a superior parameter than GI and PI for both case studies with maximum ROC area of 0.84 and 0.82 respectively. In contrast, GI and PI had ROC areas {0.78, 0.61} and {0.50, 0.56} in two case studies respectively. We also performed surrogate analysis to show that phase asymmetry is caused by a physiologic phenomena rather than a random nature of the signal. In conclusion, quantification of phase asymmetry of HRV provides additional information on HRA, which might have a potential clinical use to discriminate pathological HRV in future.

Original languageBritish English
Article number303
Pages (from-to)303-314
Number of pages12
JournalPhysiological Measurement
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2015


  • Asymmetry index
  • Heart rate asymmetry
  • Heart rate variability
  • Phase asymmetry
  • Poincaré plot


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