Fetal electrocardiography and artificial intelligence for prenatal detection of congenital heart disease

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INTRODUCTION: This study aims to investigate non-invasive electrocardiography as a method for the detection of congenital heart disease (CHD) with the help of artificial intelligence.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: An artificial neural network was trained for the identification of CHD using non-invasively obtained fetal electrocardiograms. With the help of a Bayesian updating rule, multiple electrocardiographs were used to increase the algorithm's performance.

RESULTS: Using 122 measurements containing 65 healthy and 57 CHD cases, the accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity were found to be 71%, 63%, and 77%, respectively. The sensitivity was however 75% and 69% for CHD cases requiring an intervention in the neonatal period and first year of life, respectively. Furthermore, a positive effect of measurement length on the detection performance was observed, reaching optimal performance when using 14 electrocardiography segments (37.5 min) or more. A small negative trend between gestational age and accuracy was found.

CONCLUSIONS: The proposed method combining recent advances in obtaining non-invasive fetal electrocardiography with artificial intelligence for the automatic detection of CHD achieved a detection rate of 63% for all CHD and 75% for critical CHD. This feasibility study shows that detection rates of CHD might improve by using electrocardiography-based screening complementary to the standard ultrasound-based screening. More research is required to improve performance and determine the benefits to clinical practice.

Originele taal-2Engels
Pagina's (van-tot)1511-1520
Aantal pagina's10
TijdschriftActa Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica
Nummer van het tijdschrift11
StatusGepubliceerd - nov. 2023


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