Aims: This study used entropy- and cross entropy-based methods to explore the cardiorespiratory coupling of depressive patients, and thus to assess the values of those entropy methods for identifying depression patients with different disease severities. Methods: Electrocardiogram (ECG) and respiration signals from 69 depression patients were recorded simultaneously for 5 min. Patients were classified into three groups according to the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) scores: group Non-De (HDRS 0–7), Mid-De (HDRS 8–17), and Con-De (HDRS >17). Sample entropy (SEn), fuzzy measure entropy (FMEn) and high-frequency power (HF) were computed on the original RR interval time series and breath-to-breath interval time series. Cross sample entropy (CSEn) and cross fuzzy measure entropy (CFMEn) were computed on interval time series resampled at 2 Hz and 4 Hz, respectively. The difference among three patient groups and correlation between entropy values and HDRS scores were analyzed by statistical analysis. Surrogate data were also employed to confirm the validation of entropy measures in this study. Results: A consistent increasing trend has been found among most entropy measures from Non-De, to Mid-De, and to Con-De groups, and a significant (p < 0.05) difference in FMEn of RR intervals exists between Non-De and Mid-De or Con-De groups. Significant differences have been also found in all cross entropies, between Non-De and Con-De groups and between Mid-De and Con-De groups. Furthermore, significant correlations also exist between HDRS scores and FMEn of RR intervals (R = 0.24, p < 0.05), CSEn at 4 Hz (R = 0.26, p < 0.05) or 2 Hz (R = 0.28, p < 0.05) resampling, and CFMEn at 4 Hz (R = 0.31, p < 0.01) or 2 Hz (R = 0.30, p < 0.05) resampling. A significant difference of cardiorespiratory coupling parameters between different depression stages and significant correlations between entropy measures and depression severity both indicate central autonomic dysregulation in depression patients and reflect varying degrees of vagal modulation reduction among different depression levels. Analysis based on surrogate data confirms that the non-linear properties of the physiological signals played a major role in depression recognition. Conclusion: The current study demonstrates the potential of cardiorespiratory coupling in the auxiliary diagnosis of depression based on the entropy method.
Zhao, L., Yang, L., Su, Z., & Liu, C. (2019). Cardiorespiratory coupling analysis based on entropy and cross-entropy in distinguishing different depression stages. Frontiers in Physiology, 10(MAR). https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2019.00359