Abstract

The uterine electromyogram, also named Electrohysterogram (EHG), is a non-invasive technique that has been used for pregnancy and labour monitoring as well as for research work on uterine physiology. This technique is well established in this field. There is however a vast unexplored potential in the EHG that is currently the subject of interdisciplinary research work involving different scientific fields such as medicine, engineering, physics and mathematics. In this paper, an unsupervised clustering method is applied to a previously obtained set of frequency spectral representations of the respective EHG signal contractions that were previously automatically detected and delineated. An innovative approach using the complete spectrum projection is described, rather than a set of relevant points. The feasibility of the method is established despite the concerns of possible computational burden incurred by the processing of the whole spectrum. Given the unsupervised nature of this classification, a validation procedure was performed whereas the obtained clusters were labelled through the correlation with the common knowledge about the most relevant uterine contraction types, as described in the literature. As a result of this study, a spectral description of the Alvarez contractions was obtained where it was possible to breakdown these important events in two different types according to their spectrum. Spectral estimates of Braxton-Hicks contractions were also obtained and associated to one of the clusters. This led to a full spectral characterization of these uterine events.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103897
JournalComputers in Biology and Medicine
Volume123
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

Keywords

  • Clustering
  • Electrohysterogram
  • Hierarchical clustering
  • Pregnancy monitoring
  • Uterine electromyography

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