Seizure detection using heart rate variability: A prospective validation study

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Although several validated seizure detection algorithms are available for convulsive seizures, detection of nonconvulsive seizures remains challenging. In this phase 2 study, we have validated a predefined seizure detection algorithm based on heart rate variability (HRV) using patient-specific cutoff values. The validation data set was independent from the previously published data set. Electrocardiography (ECG) was recorded using a wearable device (ePatch) in prospectively recruited patients. The diagnostic gold standard was inferred from video–EEG monitoring. Because HRV-based seizure detection is suitable only for patients with marked ictal autonomic changes, we defined responders as the patients who had a>50 beats/min ictal change in heart rate. Eleven of the 19 included patients with seizures (57.9%) fulfilled this criterion. In this group, the algorithm detected 20 of the 23 seizures (sensitivity: 87.0%). The algorithm detected all but one of the 10 recorded convulsive seizures and all of the 8 focal impaired awareness seizures, and it missed 2 of the 4 focal aware seizures. The median sensitivity per patient was 100% (in nine patients all seizures were detected). The false alarm rate was 0.9/24 h (0.22/night). Our results suggest that HRV-based seizure detection has high performance in patients with marked autonomic changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S41-S46
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

    Research areas

  • convulsive seizures, electrocardiography, heart rate variability, nonconvulsive seizures, seizure detection, wearable devices, EPILEPTIC SEIZURES

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

ID: 184512949