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Surface electromyograms (EMGs) are valuable in the pathophysiological study and clinical treatment for dystonia. These recordings are critically often contaminated by cardiac artefact. Our objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of an adaptive noise cancellation filter in removing electrocardiogram (ECG) interference from surface EMGs recorded from the trapezius muscles of patients with cervical dystonia. Performance of the proposed recursive-least-square adaptive filter was first quantified by coherence and signal-to-noise ratio measures in simulated noisy EMG signals. The influence of parameters such as the signal-to-noise ratio, forgetting factor, filter order and regularization factor were assessed. Fast convergence of the recursive-least-square algorithm enabled the filter to track complex dystonic EMGs and effectively remove ECG noise. This adaptive filter procedure proved a reliable and efficient tool to remove ECG artefact from surface EMGs with mixed and varied patterns of transient, short and long lasting dystonic contractions.

Original publication




Journal article


Neurosci Lett

Publication Date





14 - 19


Algorithms, Artifacts, Electrocardiography, Electromyography, Heart, Humans, Least-Squares Analysis, Muscle, Skeletal, Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted, Torticollis