Long ECGs reveal rich and robust dynamical regimes in patients with frequent ectopy


We have analyzed the electrocardiographic data collected during continuous 7-day ambulatory recordings in patients with frequent premature ventricular complexes (PVCs). We analyze the dependence of the frequency and patterns of PVCs on the heart rate and the time of the day. Patients display rhythms of a complex yet consistent structure. In a given patient, the pattern remains robust over different days and particular repetitive patterns appear at specific heart rates, suggesting the appearance of bifurcations in the dynamics. Over the course of 24 h, we find that in some patients, patterns appear to depend only on the heart rate, whereas in others, both the time of the day and the heart rate play a role in controlling the dynamics. Identifying parameter values at which bifurcations occur facilitates the development of dynamical models for arrhythmia. The use of powerful recording and analysis techniques will enable improved analysis of data and better understanding of mechanisms of arrhythmia in individual patients.

Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science