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Journal of Healthcare Engineering
Volume 3 (2012), Issue 1, Pages 125-139
Research Article

Intelligent Identification of Childhood Musical Murmurs

Yuerong Chen, Shengyong Wang, Chia-Hsuan Shen, and Fred K. Choy

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Akron, Akron, Ohio, USA

Received 1 March 2011; Accepted 1 August 2011

Copyright © 2012 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Heart murmurs are often the first signs of heart valvular disorders. However, most heart murmurs detected in children are innocent musical murmurs (also called Still's murmurs), which should be distinguished from other murmur types that are mostly pathological, such as regurgitant, obstructive, and flow murmurs. In order to reduce both unnecessary healthcare expenditures and parental anxiety, this study aims to develop algorithms for intelligently identifying musical murmurs in children. Discrete wavelet transform was applied to phonocardiographic signals to extract features. Singular value decomposition was applied on the matrix derived from continuous wavelet transform to extract extra features. The sequential forward feature selection algorithm was then utilized to select significant features. Musical murmurs were subsequently differentiated via a classification procedure consisting of three classification techniques: discriminant analysis, support vector machine, and artificial neural network. The results of 89.02% sensitivity, 84.76% specificity and 87.36% classification accuracy were achieved.