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Information theoretic measures of perinatal cardiotocography synchronization

1 PeriGen. Inc., Montreal, Canada
2 McGill University, Montreal Canada

Special Issues: Computer Methods and Programs in Prenatal Medicine

We examined the use of bivariate mutual information (MI) and its conditional variant transfer entropy (TE) to address synchronization of perinatal uterine pressure (UP) and fetal heart rate (FHR). We used a nearest-neighbour based Kraskov entropy estimator, suitable to the non-Gaussian distributions of the UP and FHR signals. Moreover, the estimates were robust to noise by use of surrogate data testing. Estimating degree of synchronicity and UP-FHR delay length is useful since they are physiological correlates to fetal hypoxia. Mutual information of the UP-FHR discriminated normal and pathological fetuses early (160 min before delivery) and discriminated normal and metabolic acidotic fetuses slightly later (110 min before delivery), with higher mutual information for progressively pathological classes. The delay in mutual information transfer was also discriminating in the last 50 min of labour. Transfer entropy discriminated normal and pathological cases 110 min before delivery with lower TE values and longer information transfer delays in pathological cases, to our knowledge, the first report of this phenomena in the literature.
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© 2020 the Author(s), licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

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