Development of Techniques for Simultaneous Extraction of Maternal Electrocardiogram and Fetal Electrocardiogram Signal from Abdominal Electrography Signals

  • Ferial AbuHantash

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The fetal health must be carefully and closely monitored during pregnancy to detect early fetal cardiac diseases and provide appropriate treatment [1]. The non-invasive fetal electrocardiography (fECG) extraction from maternal abdominal signals is one of the most promising modern fetal monitoring techniques. However, the non-invasive fECG signal is heavily contaminated with noise and overlaps with other prominent signals like the maternal electrocardiography (mECG)[2]. This is why this problem is still a challenge in the research field and needs to be addressed with a new processing technique. In this thesis, we propose a novel approach in non-invasive fECG extraction using the non-stationary signal analysis approach: swarm decomposition (SWD). The SWD works to isolate the fetal components from the abdominal signal after mECG attenuation by decomposing the signal into oscillatory components. Several challenges in the isolation of mECG signals and the quality of fECG signals were addressed through optimization techniques[3]. The optimization techniques greatly enhanced the higher-order statistics (HOS) based fetal R peak detection[4]. The performance of the method was assessed through quality metrics of sensitivity, positive predictive value and F1 factor and it was compared to the most used methods[5], to which the superiority of our method was prevalent. Our results demonstrate the applicability of SWD and its potentiality in extracting fECG signals with highly accurate R peak localization and well-conserved morphological quality. The method was tested on a publicly available dataset where it was optimized and compared fairly with other method's performance on the same dataset. Next, the method was applied on an own non-public clinical dataset where the efficiency of the method was prominently fair.
Date of AwardMay 2021
Original languageAmerican English


  • Abdominal Electrocardiography
  • maternal electrocardiogram
  • fetal electrocardiogram
  • swarm decomposition
  • signal extraction
  • signal processing.

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