Automatic T-Wave Alternans Identification in Indirect and Direct Fetal Electrocardiography

Marcantoni, I.; Sbrollini, A.; Burattini, L.; Morettini, M.; Fioretti, S.; Burattini, L.

Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Annual International Conference 2018: 4852-4855

2018


ISSN/ISBN: 2694-0604
PMID: 30441430
DOI: 10.1109/embc.2018.8513109
Accession: 065708383

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Abstract
Fetal T-wave alternans (TWA) is a still littleknown marker for severe fetus-heart instabilities and may be related to some currently unjustified fetal deaths. Automatically detecting TWA on direct fetal electrocardiograms (DFECG) means possibility of providing fetuses the right treatment during delivery. Instead, automatically identifying TWA on indirect fetal electrocardiograms (IFECG) means possibility of providing fetuses the right treatment even during pregnancy, when taking actions for outcome improvement is still possible. Moreover, TWA identification from IFECG is noninvasive, and thus safe for both fetuses and mothers. The aim of this work was testing the heart-rate adaptive match filter (HRAMF) for automatic TWA identification in IFECG and comparing HRAMF performance in IFECG against DFECG. To this aim, simultaneously recorded DFECG and IFECG tracings from 5 healthy fetuses were used ("Abdominal and Direct Fetal Electrocardiogram Database" from Physionet). TWA measurements (frequency, mean amplitude, maximum amplitude, and amplitude standard deviation) in IFECG (1.09±0.04 Hz, 11±5 μV, 21±12 μV and 7±3 μV) were of the same order of magnitude of those in DFECG (1.07±0.02 Hz, 9±2 μV, 30±11 μV and 6±2 μV). Moreover, a direct correlation (ñ) was found between maximum TWA and fetal heart rate (IFECG: ρ=0.999; P=0.022; DEFEG: ρ=0.642; P=0.243). Thus, HRAMF was able to detect TWA from IFECG as well as from DFECG.