Quantification of the fetal electrocardiogram using averaging technique

Shimon Abboud*, Gad Barkai, Shlomo Mashiach, Dror Sadeh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


A signal analysis procedure is described for obtaining time intervals parameters of the fetal electrocardiogram as recorded from the maternal abdomen. Applying averaging to the fetal electrocardiogram quantification of the PR interval, QRS duration and QT interval were measured. This technique which includes the subtraction of an averaged maternal ECG waveform using cross-correlation function and fast Fourier transform algorithm, enables the detection of all the fetal QRS complexes in spite of their coincidence with the maternal ECGs. Results that were obtained from 21 pregnant women at the gestational age of 32-41 weeks and an example of a recording with fetal premature ventricular contractions are presented. This method shows an important improvement with respect to detection of fetal heart rate and detection of arrhythmia disturbances in the fetal ECG. The averaging procedure can be used to evaluate long-lived alterations in the fetal ECG.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-155
Number of pages9
JournalComputers in Biology and Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1990


FundersFunder number
Ruth and Albert Abramson Foundation


    • Abdominal ECG
    • Cross-correlation
    • Fetal monitoring
    • Fourier transform
    • Signal averaging


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