Synthetic Fetal Electrocardiogram

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A fetal electrocardiogram is simulated using ordinary differential equations. Adjust the parameters of the waves to generate different morphologies in the bottom graph. Use the "Play" buttons on the upper graph to listen to the model. This simulates listening to an ultrasound.

Contributed by: Kiersten Utsey, Samuel Estes, Erick Kalobwe, Heather Finotti, and Xiaopeng Zhao (April 2015)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA



Final time modifies the total time plotted. A vector representing numerical solutions to the ordinary differential equations is projected onto a unit vector formed between two electrodes. Electrode positions control the direction of this vector relative to the position of the maternal and fetal hearts. Maternal and fetal parameters control fetal ECG characteristics. Low-frequency and high-frequency heart rate variability perturbs heart rate. Baseline wander is fluctuation in the ECG due to the electrodes changing position relative to the heart due to breathing. Noise parameters control level of contamination in the signal. Power line noise refers to the electrical interference from the power grid. White noise simulates unpredictable background noise associated with fetal ECG data collection, including movement, fetal brain activity, and muscle signals.

Model and parameters adopted from Sameni et al. (2007).

This work was completed thanks to support from the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis and The University of Tennessee, Knoxville under NSF Award EF-0832858 and NSF Award CMMI-0845753.


[1] R. Sameni, et al, "Multi-Channel ECG and Noise Modeling: Application to Maternal and Fetal ECG Signals," EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing, 2007.

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