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Comparison of Doppler ultrasound and direct electrocardiography acquisition techniques for quantification of fetal heart rate variability

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3 Author(s)
Jezewski, J. ; Dept. of Biomed. Informatics, Inst. of Med. Technol. & Equip., Zabrze ; Wrobel, J. ; Horoba, K.

A method for comparison of two acquisition techniques that are applied in clinical practice to provide information on fetal condition is presented. The aim of this work was to evaluate the commonly used Doppler ultrasound technique for monitoring of mechanical activity of fetal heart. Accuracy of beat-to-beat interval determination together with its influence on indices describing the fetal heart rate (FHR) variability calculated automatically using computer-aided fetal monitoring system were examined. We considered the direct fetal electrocardiography as a reference technique because it ensures the highest possible accuracy of heart interval measurement, and additionally all the definitions of popular time domain parameters quantifying FHR variability formerly have been created using the fetal electrocardiogram. We evaluated the reliability of various so called short-term and long-term variability indices, when they are calculated automatically using the signal obtained via the Doppler US from a fetal monitor. The results proved that evaluation of the acquisition technique influence on fetal well-being assessment cannot be accomplished basing on direct measurements of heartbeats only. The more relevant is the estimation of accuracy of the variability indices, since analysis of their changes can significantly increase predictability of fetal distress

Published in:

Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:53 ,  Issue: 5 )

Date of Publication:

May 2006

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