Discovering Shared Cardiovascular Dynamics within a Patient Cohort

International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, San Diego, CA (2012)
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Cardiovascular variables such as heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP) are robustly regulated by an underlying control system. Time series of HR and BP exhibit distinct dynamical patterns of interaction in response to perturbations (e.g., drugs or exercise) as well as in pathological states (e.g., excessive sympathetic activation). A question of interest is whether “similar” dynamical patterns can be identified across a heterogeneous patient cohort. In this work, we present a technique based on switching linear dynamical systems for identification of shared dynamical patterns in the time series of HR and BP recorded from a patient cohort. The technique uses a mixture of linear dynamical systems, the components of which are shared across all patients, to capture both nonlinear dynamics and non-Gaussian perturbations. We present exploratory results based on a simulation study of the cardiovascular system, and real recordings from 10 healthy subjects undergoing a tilt-table test. These results demonstrate the ability of the proposed technique to identify similar dynamical patterns present across multiple time series.