The Effect of Threshold Values and Weighting Factors on the Association between Entropy Measures and Mortality after Myocardial Infarction in the Cardiac Arrhythmia Suppression Trial (CAST)

Christopher Mayer, Martin Bachler, Andreas Holzinger, Phyllis K. Stein, Siegfried Wassertheurer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Heart rate variability (HRV) is a non-invasive measurement based on the intervals between normal heart beats that characterize cardiac autonomic function. Decreased HRV is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular events. Characterizing HRV using only moment statistics fails to capture abnormalities in regulatory function that are important aspects of disease risk. Thus, entropy measures are a promising approach to quantify HRV for risk stratification. The purpose of this study was to investigate this potential for approximate, corrected approximate, sample, fuzzy, and fuzzy measure entropy and its dependency on the parameter selection. Recently, published parameter sets and further parameter combinations were investigated. Heart rate data were obtained from the "Cardiac Arrhythmia Suppression Trial (CAST) RR Interval Sub-Study Database" (Physionet). Corresponding outcomes and clinical data were provided by one of the investigators. The use of previously-reported parameter sets on the pre-treatment data did not significantly add to the identification of patients at risk for cardiovascular death on follow-up. After arrhythmia suppression treatment, several parameter sets predicted outcomes for all patients and patients without coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). The strongest results were seen using the threshold parameter as a multiple of the data’s standard deviation ( r=0.2⋅σ ). Approximate and sample entropy provided significant hazard ratios for patients without CABG and without diabetes for an entropy maximizing threshold approximation. Additional parameter combinations did not improve the results for pre-treatment data. The results of this study illustrate the influence of parameter selection on entropy measures’ potential for cardiovascular risk stratification and support the potential use of entropy measures in future studies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number129
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2016


  • machine learning
  • entropy
  • heart rate variability
  • fuzzy measure entropy

Fields of Expertise

  • Information, Communication & Computing

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