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Fetal magnetocardiography (fMCG) is the only noninvasive technique allowing effective assessment of fetal cardiac electrical activity during the prenatal period. The reconstruction of reliable magnetic field mapping associated with fetal heart activity would allow three-dimensional source localization. The efficiency of independent component analysis (ICA) in restoring reliable fetal traces from multichannel fMCG has already been demonstrated. In this paper, we describe a method of reconstructing a complete set of fetal signals hidden in multichannel fMCG preserving their correct spatial distribution, waveform, polarity and amplitude. Fetal independent components, retrieved with an ICA algorithm (FastICA), were interpolated (fICI method) using information gathered during FastICA iterations. The restored fetal signals were used to reconstruct accurate magnetic mapping for every millisecond during the average beat. The procedure was validated on fMCG recorded from the 22nd gestational week onward with a multichannel MCG system working in a shielded room. The interpolated traces were compared with those obtained with a standard technique, and the consistency of fetal mapping was checked evaluating source localizations relative to fetal echocardiographic information. Good magnetic field distributions during the P-QRS-T waves were attained with fICI for all gestational periods; their reliability was confirmed by three-dimensional source localizations.


Journal article


Physiol Meas

Publication Date





1459 - 1472


Algorithms, Body Surface Potential Mapping, Cardiotocography, Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted, Electrocardiography, Female, Heart Rate, Fetal, Humans, Magnetics, Pregnancy, Principal Component Analysis, Reproducibility of Results, Sensitivity and Specificity, Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted