Comparative Review of the Algorithms for Removal of Electrocardiographic Interference from Trunk Electromyography

Lin Xu (Corresponding author), Elisabetta Peri, Rik Vullings, Chiara Rabotti, Johannes P Van Dijk, Massimo Mischi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Surface electromyogram (EMG) is a noninvasive measure of muscle electrical activity and has been widely used in a variety of applications. When recorded from the trunk, surface EMG can be contaminated by the cardiac electrical activity, i.e., the electrocardiogram (ECG). ECG may distort the desired EMG signal, complicating the extraction of reliable information from the trunk EMG. Several methods are available for ECG removal from the trunk EMG, but a comparative assessment of the performance of these methods is lacking, limiting the possibility of selecting a suitable method for specific applications. The aim of the present study is therefore to review and compare the performance of different ECG removal methods from the trunk EMG. To this end, a synthetic dataset was generated by combining in vivo EMG signals recorded on the biceps brachii and healthy or dysrhythmia ECG data from the Physionet database with a predefined signal-to-noise ratio. Gating, high-pass filtering, template subtraction, wavelet transform, adaptive filtering, and blind source separation were implemented for ECG removal. A robust measure of Kurtosis, i.e., KR2 and two EMG features, the average rectified value (ARV), and mean frequency (MF), were then calculated from the processed EMG signals and compared with the EMG before mixing. Our results indicate template subtraction to produce the lowest root mean square error in both ARV and MF, providing useful insight for the selection of a suitable ECG removal method.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4890
Number of pages16
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 29 Aug 2020


  • Adaptive filter
  • Blind source separation
  • Electrocardiography interference
  • Template subtraction
  • Trunk electromyography
  • Wavelet


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparative Review of the Algorithms for Removal of Electrocardiographic Interference from Trunk Electromyography'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this