Machine learning-based classification of cardiac relaxation impairment using sarcomere length and intracellular calcium transients

Rana Raza Mehdi, Mohit Kumar, Emilio A. Mendiola, Sakthivel Sadayappan, Reza Avazmohammadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Impaired relaxation of cardiomyocytes leads to diastolic dysfunction in the left ventricle. Relaxation velocity is regulated in part by intracellular calcium (Ca2+) cycling, and slower outflux of Ca2+ during diastole translates to reduced relaxation velocity of sarcomeres. Sarcomere length transient and intracellular calcium kinetics are integral parts of characterizing the relaxation behavior of the myocardium. However, a classifier tool that can separate normal cells from cells with impaired relaxation using sarcomere length transient and/or calcium kinetics remains to be developed. In this work, we employed nine different classifiers to classify normal and impaired cells, using ex-vivo measurements of sarcomere kinematics and intracellular calcium kinetics data. The cells were isolated from wild-type mice (referred to as normal) and transgenic mice expressing impaired left ventricular relaxation (referred to as impaired). We utilized sarcomere length transient data with a total of n = 126 cells (n = 60 normal cells and n = 66 impaired cells) and intracellular calcium cycling measurements with a total of n = 116 cells (n = 57 normal cells and n = 59 impaired cells) from normal and impaired cardiomyocytes as inputs to machine learning (ML) models for classification. We trained all ML classifiers with cross-validation method separately using both sets of input features, and compared their performance metrics. The performance of classifiers on test data showed that our soft voting classifier outperformed all other individual classifiers on both sets of input features, with 0.94 and 0.95 area under the receiver operating characteristic curves for sarcomere length transient and calcium transient, respectively, while multilayer perceptron achieved comparable scores of 0.93 and 0.95, respectively. However, the performance of decision tree, and extreme gradient boosting was found to be dependent on the set of input features used for training. Our findings highlight the importance of selecting appropriate input features and classifiers for the accurate classification of normal and impaired cells. Layer-wise relevance propagation (LRP) analysis demonstrated that the time to 50% contraction of the sarcomere had the highest relevance score for sarcomere length transient, whereas time to 50% decay of calcium had the highest relevance score for calcium transient input features. Despite the limited dataset, our study demonstrated satisfactory accuracy, suggesting that the algorithm can be used to classify relaxation behavior in cardiomyocytes when the potential relaxation impairment of the cells is unknown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107134
Pages (from-to)107134
JournalComputers in Biology and Medicine
StatePublished - Sep 2023


  • Calcium kinetics
  • Layer wise relevance propagation
  • Machine learning
  • Neural network
  • Relaxation impairment
  • Sarcomere length transient
  • Soft voting classifier

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Science Applications


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