N. Pilia, M. H. Mesa, O. Dössel, and A. Loewe. ECG-based Estimation of Potassium and Calcium Concentrations: Proof of Concept with Simulated Data. In 41st Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC), pp. 2610-2613, 2019
In Europe, the prevalence of chronic kidney disease lay at approximately 18.38% in 2016. A common treatment for patients in the end stage of this disease is haemodialysis. However, patients undergoing this therapy suffer from an increased risk of cardiac death. A hypothesis is that the cause is an inbalanced electrolyte concentration. To study the underlying mechanisms of this phenomenon and fight the consequences, a continous non-invasive monitoring technique is desired. In this work, we investigated the possibility to reconstruct the extracellular concentrations of potassium and calcium from ECG signals. Therefore, we extracted 71 ECGs using the simulation results of a modified Himeno et al. ventricular cell model comprising variations of the extracellular ionic concentrations of potassium and calcium. The changes dependent on the different extracellular ionic concentrations were captured with five ECG features. These were used to train an artificial neural network for regression. The study was performed both for noise-free and noisy data. The estimation error for the reconstruction of the potassium concentrations was -0.01±0.14 mmol/l (mean±standard deviation) in the noise- free case, -0.03±0.46mmol/l in the noisy case (30dB SNR). For calcium, the result was 0.01±0.11mmol/l in the noise- free case, 0.02±0.17mmol/l in the noisy case. For both ion types, the result was improved by augmenting the dataset. We therefore conclude that with the calculated features, we are able to reconstruct the extracellular ionic concentrations for both potassium and calcium with an acceptable precision. When analysing noisy signals, the accuracy of the estimation method is still sufficient but can be further improved by an augmentation of the dataset.