Cardiotocograph (CTG) is widely used in everyday clinical practice for fetal surveillance, where it is used to record fetal heart rate (FHR) and uterine activity (UA). These two biosignals can be used for antepartum and intrapartum fetal monitoring and are, in fact, nonlinear and non-stationary. CTG recordings are often corrupted by artifacts such as missing beats in FHR, high-frequency noise in FHR and UA signals. In this paper, an empirical mode decomposition (EMD) method is applied on CTG signals. A recursive algorithm is first utilized to eliminate missing beats. High-frequency noise is reduced using EMD followed by the partial reconstruction (PAR) method, where the noise order is identified by a statistical method. The obtained signal enhancement from the proposed method is validated by comparing the resulting traces with the output obtained by applying classical signal processing methods such as Butterworth low-pass filtering, linear interpolation and a moving average filter on 12 CTG signals. Three obstetricians evaluated all 12 sets of traces and rated the proposed method, on average, 3.8 out of 5 on a scale of 1(lowest) to 5 (highest).
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.