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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter January 30, 2009

Influence of gestational age on the effectiveness of spatial and temporal methods for the reconstruction of the fetal magnetocardiogram

Silvia Comani , Peter Van Leeuwen , Silke Lange , Daniel Geue and Dietrich Grönemeyer
From the journal


Fetal magnetocardiography (fMCG) has been shown to augment fetal ultrasound evaluation for high-risk conditions, but the clinical utility of fMCG depends on the reliability of the cardiac traces reconstructed. We performed a methodological study to examine the influence of gestational age on the properties of the fetal magnetocardiograms extracted with two methods of signal reconstruction: the template matching technique (TMT), which extracts the maternal components from the signal using only temporal information, and independent component analysis (ICA), which separates the fetal signals by using information on the spatial distribution of the mixed source signals in addition to higher order temporal statistics. Efficiency and accuracy were evaluated in terms of fetal beat detection, signal characteristics, and duration of cardiac time intervals (CTIs) on the averaged traces. ICA outperformed TMT with regard to beat detection and signal-to-noise ratio. The timing of the heartbeats and the duration of the CTIs were essentially the same, whereas some alterations in signal morphology were observed in the ICA traces. We conclude that ICA may be useful in early gestation when the signals are noisy, while TMT may be preferred when accurate beat morphology is required for diagnostic purposes.

Corresponding author: Prof. Silvia Comani, Behavioral Imaging and Neural Dynamics (BIND) Center, ITAB – Institute of Advanced Biomedical Technologies, University Foundation “G. D'Annunzio”, Chieti University, Via dei Vestini 33, 66013 Chieti, Italy Phone: +39-(0)871-3556901 Fax: +39-(0)871-3556930

Received: 2008-6-25
Accepted: 2008-9-29
Published Online: 2009-01-30
Published in Print: 2009-02-01

©2009 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York

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