Assessment of coupling between trans-abdominally acquired fetal ECG and uterine activity by bivariate phase-rectified signal averaging analysis

Daniela Casati, Tamara Stampalija, Konstantinos Rizas, Enrico Ferrazzi, Cristina Mastroianni, Eleonora Rosti, Mariachiara Quadrifoglio, Axel Bauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Couplings between uterine contractions (UC) and fetal heart rate (fHR) provide important information on fetal condition during labor. At present, couplings between UC and fHR are assessed by visual analysis and interpretation of cardiotocography. The application of computerized approaches is restricted due to the non-stationarity of the signal, missing data and noise, typical for fHR. Herein, we propose a novel approach to assess couplings between UC and fHR, based on a signal-processing algorithm termed bivariate phase-rectified signal averaging (BPRSA). Methods: Electrohysterogram (EHG) and fetal electrocardiogram (fECG) were recorded non-invasively by a trans-abdominal device in 73 women at term with uneventful singleton pregnancy during the first stage of labor. Coupling between UC and fHR was analyzed by BPRSA and by conventional cross power spectral density analysis (CPSD). For both methods, degree of coupling was assessed by the maximum coefficient of coherence (CPRSA and C RAW, respectively) in the UC frequency domain. Coherence values greater than 0.50 were consider significant. CPRSA and C RAW were compared by Wilcoxon test. Results: At visual inspection BPRSA analysis identified coupled periodicities in 86.3% (63/73) of the cases. 11/73 (15%) cases were excluded from further analysis because no 30 minutes of fECG recording without signal loss was available for spectral analysis. Significant coupling was found in 90.3% (56/62) of the cases analyzed by BPRSA, and in 24.2% (15/62) of the cases analyzed by CPSD, respectively. The difference between median value of CPRSA and CRAW was highly significant (0.79 [IQR 0.69-0.90] and 0.29 [IQR 0.17-0.47], respectively; p

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere94557
JournalPLoS One
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 23 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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