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Published September 2014 | public
Journal Article Open

Intrinsic frequency for a systems approach to haemodynamic waveform analysis with clinical applications


The reductionist approach has dominated the fields of biology and medicine for nearly a century. Here, we present a systems science approach to the analysis of physiological waveforms in the context of a specific case, cardiovascular physiology. Our goal in this study is to introduce a methodology that allows for novel insight into cardiovascular physiology and to show proof of concept for a new index for the evaluation of the cardiovascular system through pressure wave analysis. This methodology uses a modified version of sparse time–frequency representation (STFR) to extract two dominant frequencies we refer to as intrinsic frequencies (IFs; ω_1 and ω_2). The IFs are the dominant frequencies of the instantaneous frequency of the coupled heart + aorta system before the closure of the aortic valve and the decoupled aorta after valve closure. In this study, we extract the IFs from a series of aortic pressure waves obtained from both clinical data and a computational model. Our results demonstrate that at the heart rate at which the left ventricular pulsatile workload is minimized the two IFs are equal (ω_1 = ω_2). Extracted IFs from clinical data indicate that at young ages the total frequency variation (Δω = ω_1 − ω_2) is close to zero and that Δω increases with age or disease (e.g. heart failure and hypertension). While the focus of this paper is the cardiovascular system, this approach can easily be extended to other physiological systems or any biological signal.

Additional Information

© 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. Received: 9 June 2014; accepted: 13 June 2014. The authors (N.M.P., D.C.R. and M.C.) acknowledge the support from Caltech innovative initiative grant (CTI).

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