Ventricular Tachycardia and Fibrillation Detection by a Sequential Hypothesis Testing Algorithm

Nitish V. Thakor, Yi Sheng Zhu, Kong Yan Pan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

196 Scopus citations


An algorithm for detecting ventricular fibrillation (VF) and ventricular tachycardia (VT) by the method of sequential hypothesis testing is presented. The algorithm first generates a binary sequence by comparing the signal to a threshold. The probability distribution of the time intervals of the binary sequence is obtained, and Wald's sequential hypothesis testing procedure is next employed to discriminate the arrhythmias. Sequential hypothesis testing of 85 cases resulted in identification of 1) 97.64% VF and 97.65% VT episodes after 5 s, and 2) 100% identification of both VF and VT after 7 s. The desired false positive and false negative error probabilities can be preprogrammed into the algorithm. An important feature of the sequential method is that extra time for detection can be traded off for improved accuracy, and vice versa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)837-843
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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