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Title: Classification techniques using EHG signals for detecting preterm births
Author: Idowu, Ibrahim Olatunji
ISNI:       0000 0004 6425 3947
Awarding Body: Liverpool John Moores University
Current Institution: Liverpool John Moores University
Date of Award: 2017
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Premature birth is defined as an infant born before 37 weeks of gestation and can be sub-categorized into three phrases; late preterm delivery between 34 and 36 weeks of gestation; moderately preterm between 32 and 34 weeks, and extreme preterm less than 28 weeks of gestation. Globally, the rate of preterm births is increasing, thus resulting in significant health, development and economic problems. The current methods for the detection of preterm birth are inadequate due to the fact that the exact cause of premature uterine contractions leading to delivery is mostly unknown. Another problem is the interpretation of temporal and spectral characteristics of Electromyography (EMG), which is an electrodiagnostic medicine technique for recording and evaluating the electrical activity produced by uterine muscles during pregnancy and parturition – significant variability exists among obstetric care practitioners. Apart from a small number of potential causes for preterm birth, such as medication, uterine over-distension, preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM), intrauterine inflammation, precocious foetal endocrine activation, surgery, ethnicity and lifestyle, there is still a large amount of uncertainty about their specific risks. Hence, it is currently very difficult to make reliable predictions about preterm delivery risk. There has also been some evidence that the analysis of uterine electrical signals, collected from the abdominal surface, could provide an independent and easier way to diagnose true labour and detect the onset of preterm delivery. Early detection opens up new avenues for the development of an automated ambulatory system, based on uterine EMG, for patient monitoring during pregnancy. This can be made possible through the use of machine learning. The essence of machine learning is the utilisation of previously recorded data outcomes to train algorithms to ii stimulate software learning elements. Such learned models can, as a result, be used to detect and predict the early signs associated with the onset of preterm birth. Therefore in this thesis, Electrohysterography signals are used to classify uterine activity associated with preterm birth. This is achieved using an open dataset, which contains 262 records for women who delivered at term and 38 who delivered prematurely. Several new features from Electromyography studies are utilized, as well as feature-ranking techniques to determine their discriminative capabilities in detecting term and preterm records. The results illustrate that the combination of the Levenberg-Marquardt trained Feed-Forward Neural Network, Radial Basis Function Neural Network and the Random Neural Network classifiers performed the best, with 91% for sensitivity, 84% for specificity, 94% for the area under the curve and 12% for the mean error rate. Applying advanced machine learning algorithms, in conjunction with innovative signal processing techniques and the analysis of Electrohysterography signals shows significant benefits for use in clinical interventions for preterm birth assessments.
Supervisor: Fergus, P. ; Hussain, A. ; Dobbins, C. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science ; RG Gynecology and obstetrics