Using Lorenz plot and Cardiac Sympathetic Index of heart rate variability for detecting seizures for patients with epilepsy

Jesper Jeppesen, Sandor Beniczky, Peter Johansen, Per Sidenius, Anders Fuglsang-Frederiksen

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Abstrakt

Tachycardia is often seen during epileptic seizures, but it also occurs during physical exercise. In order to assess whether focal epileptic seizures can be detected by short term moving window Heart Rate Variability (HRV) analysis, we modified the geometric HRV method, Lorenz plot, to consist of only 30, 50 or 100 R-R intervals per analyzed window. From each window we calculated the longitudinal (L) and transverse (T) variability of Lorenz plot to retrieve the Cardiac Sympathetic Index (CSI) as (L/T) and "Modified CSI" (described in methods), and compared the maximum during the patient's epileptic seizures with that during the patient's own exercise and non-seizure sessions as control. All five analyzed patients had complex partial seizures (CPS) originating in the temporal lobe (11 seizures) during their 1-5 days long term video-EEG monitoring. All CPS with electroencephalographic correlation were selected for the HRV analysis. The CSI and Modified CSI were correspondently calculated after each heart beat depicting the prior 30, 50 and 100 R-R intervals at the time. CSI (30, 50 and 100) and Modified CSI (100) showed a higher maximum peak during seizures than exercise/non-seizure (121-296%) for 4 of the 5 patients within 4 seconds before till 60 seconds after seizure onset time even though exercise maximum HR exceeded that of the seizures. The results indicate a detectable, sudden and inordinate shift towards sympathetic overdrive in the sympathovagal balance of the autonomic nervous system just around seizure-onset for certain patients. This new modified moving window Lorenz plot method seems promising way of constructing a portable ECG-based epilepsy alarm for certain patients with epilepsy who needs aid during seizure.

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