An application of symbolic dynamics for FHRV assessment

Mario Cesarelli, Maria Romano, Paolo Bifulco, Gianni Improta, Gianni D'Addio

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Fetal heart rate variability is surely one of the most important parameters to monitor fetal wellbeing. Linear studies, widely employed to study fetal heart variability and its correlations with the development of the autonomous nervous system, have shown some limitations in highlight dynamics potentially relevant. During the last decades, therefore, nonlinear analysis methods have gained a growing interest to analyze the chaotic nature of cardiac activity. Techniques investigating nonlinear dynamics have been already successfully employed in adults, to analyze different physiological and pathological states. Concerning fetal monitoring, instead, a smaller number of papers is available in the literature; even if symbolic dynamics was recently employed to quantify fetal heart rate regularity, demonstrating that the use of this technique may lead to a better and more differentiated understanding of normal fetal physiological development. In this work, we applied the symbolic dynamics to analyze fetal heart rate variability in healthy fetuses at the end of a physiological pregnancy. Our results confirmed the potentiality of the technique to highlight differences between signals characterized by more or less variability.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event24th Medical Informatics in Europe Conference, MIE 2012 - Pisa, Italy
Duration: Aug 26 2012Aug 29 2012


Other24th Medical Informatics in Europe Conference, MIE 2012


  • Cardiotocography
  • Fetal heart rate variability
  • Nonlinear dynamics
  • Symbolic dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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