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Biomedical Engineering / Biomedizinische Technik

Joint Journal of the German Society for Biomedical Engineering in VDE and the Austrian and Swiss Societies for Biomedical Engineering and the German Society of Biomaterials

Editor-in-Chief: Dössel, Olaf

Editorial Board: Augat, Peter / Habibović, Pamela / Haueisen, Jens / Jahnen-Dechent, Wilhelm / Jockenhoevel, Stefan / Knaup-Gregori, Petra / Lenarz, Thomas / Leonhardt, Steffen / Plank, Gernot / Radermacher, Klaus M. / Schkommodau, Erik / Stieglitz, Thomas / Boenick, Ulrich / Jaramaz, Branislav / Kraft, Marc / Lenthe, Harry / Lo, Benny / Mainardi, Luca / Micera, Silvestro / Penzel, Thomas / Robitzki, Andrea A. / Schaeffter, Tobias / Snedeker, Jess G. / Sörnmo, Leif / Sugano, Nobuhiko / Werner, Jürgen /

IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 1.096
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.492

CiteScore 2017: 0.48

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.202
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.356

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Volume 51, Issue 4


Volume 57 (2012)

Complexity of heart rate fluctuations in near-term sheep and human fetuses during sleep

Birgit Frank
  • Institute for Pathophysiology and Pathobiochemistry, and Biomagnetic Center, Department of Neurology, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Martin G. Frasch / Uwe Schneider / Marcus Roedel / Matthias Schwab / Dirk Hoyer
  • Institute for Pathophysiology and Pathobiochemistry, and Biomagnetic Center, Department of Neurology, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2006-10-25 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/BMT.2006.044


We investigated how the complexity of fetal heart rate fluctuations (fHRF) is related to the sleep states in sheep and human fetuses. The complexity as a function of time scale for fetal heart rate data for 7 sheep and 27 human fetuses was estimated in rapid eye movement (REM) and non-REM sleep by means of permutation entropy and the associated Kullback-Leibler entropy. We found that in humans, fHRF complexity is higher in non-REM than REM sleep, whereas in sheep this relationship is reversed. To show this relation, choice of the appropriate time scale is crucial. In sheep fetuses, we found differences in the complexity of fHRF between REM and non-REM sleep only for larger time scales (above 2.5 s), whereas in human fetuses the complexity was clearly different between REM and non-REM sleep over the whole range of time scales. This may be due to inherent time scales of complexity, which reflect species-specific functions of the autonomic nervous system. Such differences have to be considered when animal data are translated to the human situation.

Keywords: complexity; fetal heart rate fluctuations; fetal sheep; permutation entropy; sleep states

About the article

Corresponding author: Birgit Frank, PhD, Biomagnetic Center, Clinic for Neurology, Friedrich Schiller University, Erlanger Allee 101, 07740 Jena, Germany Phone: +49-3641-9325796 Fax: +49-3641-9325777

Published Online: 2006-10-25

Published in Print: 2006-10-01

Citation Information: Biomedizinische Technik, Volume 51, Issue 4, Pages 233–236, ISSN (Online) 1862-278X, ISSN (Print) 0013-5585, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/BMT.2006.044.

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