Cardiorespiratory interactions tend to be frail in the early stages of life, necessitating the further analysis of their existence since this could turn out to be a significant factor in assessing the neurodevelopment of neonates. Strength of cardio-respiratory interactions are presumed to be weak and rapidly fluctuating in neonates. Even with the extensive significant research that have been dedicated to early human development there still isn’t a standard or specific technique to analyze these weak cardio-respiratory fluctuating characteristics in neonates. We employ a mathematical technique that’s based on series of tools that have been outstanding in measurement of significant cardio-respiratory control processes in the adult human being. In our case it has been tailored to capture the physiology of the early human cardiovascular system.

We used our technique in the assessment of the cardio-respiratory interactions in 10 preterm infants. The cardio-respiratory interactions were evaluated by employing a specially designed point process model of inter beat interval (RR) of electrocardiogram along with multivariate autoregressive model with respiration as covariate. We computed bi-directional coherence as well as the gain using causal methods between RR and respiration. The technique was used to analyze segments of neonate heart rate during bradycardia (slowness of heart) and segments with regular heart rates, which served as control segments.

Our bivariate model captured the presence significantly high coherence values in the low frequency bands and as well as the bands corresponding to respiratory frequency which indicates that both the cardiac system and respiration system work together during a bradycardia episode, to resuscitate the neonate from any life-threatening condition.

Our assessment did corroborate the models governing our technique we used in this study and the results established the existence of cardio-respiratory interactions in preterm infants and its influence during a bradycardia event.

Date of publication

Spring 5-1-2019

Document Type




Persistent identifier


Committee members

Premananda Indic, Ph.D,Mukul Shirvaikar Ph.D, Jimi Francis Ph.D


Masters in Electrical Engineering