Investigating the beat by beat phase synchronization between maternal and fetal heart rates

Qianqian Wang, Ahsan H. Khandoker, Faezeh Marzbanrad, Kiyoe Funamoto, Rika Sugibayashi, Miyuki Endo, Yoshitaka Kimura, Marimuthu Palaniswami

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5 Citations (Scopus)


The development of the fetal cardiovascular system plays a crucial role in fetal health. The evolution of the relationship between fetal and maternal cardiac systems during fetal maturation is a characterizing feature for fetal cardiac development. This paper aims to evaluate this relationship by investigating the beat-to-beat synchronization between fetal and maternal heart rates and its variation at different stages of pregnancy. Synchronization epochs and phase locking patterns are analyzed at certain synchronization ratios (SRs) for three gestational age groups (16-26 weeks, 27-33 weeks, 34-40 weeks). Results show that the normalized synchronization epoch is significantly different for three age groups with the p-value of 6.72*10-6 and 2.89*10-4 at SR of 1:2 and 4:5 respectively. The variance of phase locking also shows significant difference for three groups with the p-value less than 10-7 at four SRs. Results also suggest that synchronization may be the force behind the increase in the maternal heart rate to maintain the fetal development and provide supplies for the fetus. Overall, the findings propose new clinical markers for evaluating the antenatal development.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2013 35th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC 2013)
Subtitle of host publicationOsaka, Japan, 3 - 7 July 2013 [proceedings]
EditorsNigel Lovell
Place of PublicationPiscataway, NJ
PublisherIEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic) 9781457702167
ISBN (Print)9781457702150
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society 2013 - Osaka International Convention Center, Osaka, Japan
Duration: 3 Jul 20137 Jul 2013
Conference number: 35th (Proceedings)


ConferenceInternational Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society 2013
Abbreviated titleEMBC 2013
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