Introduction: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common heart arrhythmia, characterized by the presence of fibrillatory waves (f-waves) in the ECG. We introduce a voting scheme to estimate the dominant atrial frequency (DAF) of f-waves.
Methods: We analysed a subset of Holter recordings obtained from the University of Virginia AF Database. 100 Holter recordings with manually annotated AF events, resulting in a total 363 AF events lasting more than 1 min. The f-waves were extracted using four different template subtraction (TS) algorithms and the DAF was estimated from the first 1-min window of each AF event. A random forest classifier was used. We hypothesized that better extraction of the f-wave meant better AF/non-AF classification using the DAF as the single input feature of the RF model.
Results: Performance on the test set, expressed in terms of AF/non-AF classification, was the best when the DAF was computed using TSP CA (F1 = 0.67) then TSSU (0.66) and then TS (0.59). Using these three methods in a voting scheme, the classifier obtained F1 = 0.70 and the DAFs were mostly spread around 6 Hz, 5.66 (4.83-7.47).
Conclusions: This study has two novel contributions: (1) a method for assessing the performance of f-wave extraction algorithms, and (2) a voting scheme for improved DAF estimation.