Uterine muscle networks: Connectivity analysis of the EHG during pregnancy and Labor

10 Apr 2019  ·  Nader Noujoud, Hassan Mahmoud, Falou Wassim, Khalil Mohamad, Karlsson Brynjar, Marque Catherine ·

In this paper, we propose a new framework to analyze the electrical activity of the uterus recorded by electrohysterography (EHG), from abdominal electrodes (a grid of 4x4 electrodes) during pregnancy and labor. We evaluate the potential use of the synchronization between EHG signals in characterizing electrical activity of the uterus during pregnancy and labor... The complete processing pipeline consists of i) estimating the correlation between the different EHG signals, ii) quantifying the connectivity matrices using graph theory-based analysis and iii) testing the clinical impact of network measures in pregnancy monitoring and labor detection. We first compared several connectivity methods to compute the adjacency matrix represented as a graph of a set of nodes (electrodes) connected by edges (connectivity values). We then evaluated the performance of different graph measures in the classification of pregnancy and labor contractions (number of women=35). A comparison with the already existing parameters used in the state of the art of labor detection and preterm labor prediction was also performed. Results show higher performance of connectivity methods when combined with network measures. Denser graphs were observed during labor than during pregnancy. The network-based metrics showed the highest classification rate when compared to already existing features. This network-based approach can be used not only to characterize the propagation of the uterine contractions, but also may have high clinical impact in labor detection and likely in the prediction of premature labor. read more

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