Fetal Electrocardiogram Enhancement from Recorded Signals
Dragos D. Taralunga, Werner Wolf, Rodica Strungaru, Camelia Dutescu, Ilinca Gussi and G. Mihaela Ungureanu
Fetal monitoring offers vital information about the health state of the unborn child through the analysis of the fetal heart rate (FHR). Abdominal recordings represent an attractive alternative for fetal monitoring, as it is noninvasive and offers the fetal electrocardiogram (fECG), which provides both the instantaneous FHR and the fECG morphology. The problem when working with abdominal signals (ADS) is that the fECG is strongly distorted, mainly by the maternal electrocardiogram (mECG) component which has the dominant energy. In addition, the frequency band of the mECG overlaps that of the fECG and EHG, thereby a simple filter cannot remove the mECG. Considering that the ADS contain other disturbing signals, advanced digital processing technique is required in order to suppress the mECG and to obtain a clean fECG. We proposed an improved ESC method for mECG cancellation from ADS. Furthermore, we want to extend the fECG analysis to better investigate the fetal state, and to extract the electrohysterogram (EHG) from the ADS cleaned from the mECG, to predict the pre-term labour.
Keywords: Abdominal signal, electrocardiogram, electrohysterogram, fetal heart rate, ESC, digital processing.