Non-linear analysis of electrograms (EGM) has been proposed as a tool to detect critical conduction sites (e.g., rotors vortex, multiple wavefronts) in atrial fibrillation (AF). Likewise, studies have shown that multifractal analysis is useful to detect critical activity in EGM signals. However, the multifractal spectrum does not consider the temporal information. There is a new mathematical formalism to overcome this limitation: the time-singularity multifractal spectrum distribution (TS-MFSD), which involves the time variation of the spectrum. In this manuscript, we describe the methodology to compute the TS-MFSD from EGM signals. Moreover, we propose a methodology to extract features from time-singularity spectrum and from singularity energy spectrum (SES). We tested the features in an EGM database labeled by experts as: non-fragmented, discrete fragmented potentials, disorganized activity, and continuous activity. We tested the area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve. The proposed features achieve an area under the ROC curve of 95.17% when detecting signals with continuous activity. These results outperform those reported using multifractal analysis. To our knowledge, this is the first work that report the use of TS-MFSD in biomedical signals and our findings suggest that time-singularity has the potential to be used in the study of non-stationary behavior of EGM signals in AF.
Cardiac signals; Detrended Fluctuation Analysis; multifractal singularity spectrum; non-linear signal processing; time series analysis.