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Measurement of the cardiac time intervals of the fetal ECG utilising a computerised algorithm: A retrospective observational study

Chivers, S.C.; Vasavan, T.; Nandi, M.; Hayes-Gill, B.R.; Jayawardane, I.A.; Simpson, J.M.; Williamson, C.; Fifer, W.P.; Lucchini, M.


S.C. Chivers

T. Vasavan

M. Nandi

Professor of Electronic Systems and Medical Devices

I.A. Jayawardane

J.M. Simpson

C. Williamson

W.P. Fifer

M. Lucchini



Establish whether the reliable measurement of cardiac time intervals of the fetal ECG can be automated and to address whether this approach could be used to investigate large datasets.

Retrospective observational study.

Teaching hospitals in London UK, Nottingham UK and New York USA.

Singleton pregnancies with no known fetal abnormality.

Archived fetal ECG's performed using the MonicaAN24 monitor. A single ECG (PQRST) complex was generated from 5000 signal-averaged beats and electrical cardiac time intervals measured in an automated way and manually.

Main Outcome measure
Validation of a newly developed algorithm to measure the cardiac time intervals of the fetal ECG.

188/236 (79.7%) subjects with fECGs of suitable signal:noise ratio were included for analysis comparing manual with automated measurement. PR interval was measured in 173/188 (92%), QRS complex in 170/188 (90%) and QT interval in 123/188 (65.4%). PR interval was 107.6 (12.07) ms [mean(SD)] manual vs 109.11 (14.7) ms algorithm. QRS duration was 54.72(6.35) ms manual vs 58.34(5.73) ms algorithm. QT-interval was 268.93 (21.59) ms manual vs 261.63 (36.16) ms algorithm. QTc was 407.5(32.71) ms manual vs 396.4 (54.78) ms algorithm. The QRS-duration increased with gestational age in both manual and algorithm measurements.

Accurate measurement of fetal ECG cardiac time intervals can be automated with potential application to interpretation of larger datasets.


Chivers, S., Vasavan, T., Nandi, M., Hayes-Gill, B., Jayawardane, I., Simpson, J., …Lucchini, M. (2022). Measurement of the cardiac time intervals of the fetal ECG utilising a computerised algorithm: A retrospective observational study. JRSM Cardiovascular Disease, 11, Article 204800402210962.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 5, 2022
Online Publication Date May 11, 2022
Publication Date May 11, 2022
Deposit Date Aug 1, 2022
Publicly Available Date Aug 2, 2022
Journal JRSM Cardiovascular Disease
Electronic ISSN 2048-0040
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Article Number 204800402210962
Keywords Fetal, ECG, pregnancy, abdominal fetal ECG, cardiac time intervals, algorithm, signal to noise ratio
Public URL
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