Statistical Modeling of Atrioventricular Nodal Function During Atrial Fibrillation Focusing on the Refractory Period Estimation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding


We have recently proposed a statistical AV node model defined by a set of parameters characterizing the arrival rate of atrial impulses, the probability of an impulse passing through the fast or the slow pathway, the refractory periods of the pathways, and the prolongation of refractory periods. All parameters are estimated from the RR interval series using maximum likelihood (ML) estimation, except for the mean arrival rate of atrial impulses which is estimated by the AF frequency derived from the f-waves. In this chapter, we compare four different methods, based either on the Poincare plot or ML estimation, for determining the refractory period of the slow pathway. Simulation results show better performance of the ML estimator, especially in the presence of artifacts due to premature ventricular beats or misdetected beats. The performance was also evaluated on ECG data acquired from 26 AF patients during rest and head-up tilt test. During tilt, the AF frequency increased (6.08 +/- 1.03 Hz vs. 6.20 +/- 0.99 Hz, p < 0.05, rest vs. tilt) and the refractory periods of both pathways decreased (slow pathway: 0.43 +/- 0.12 s vs. 0.38 +/- 0.12 s, p = 0.001, rest vs. tilt; fast pathway: 0.55 +/- 0.14 s vs. 0.47 +/- 0.11 s, p < 0.05, rest vs. tilt). These results show that AV node characteristics can be assessed non-invasively to quantify changes induced by autonomic stimulation.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Biomedical Laboratory Science/Technology


  • Atrial fibrillation, Atrioventricular node, Statistical modeling, Maximum likelihood estimation
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiomedical Engineering Systems and Technologies (Biostec 2013)
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch
Event6th International Joint Conference on Biomedical Engineering Systems and Technologies (BIOSTEC) - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 2013 Feb 112013 Feb 14

Publication series

ISSN (Print)1865-0929


Conference6th International Joint Conference on Biomedical Engineering Systems and Technologies (BIOSTEC)