Electrical stimulation of muscle or nerve is a very useful technique for understanding of muscle activity and its pathological changes for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. During electrical stimulation of a muscle, the recorded M wave is often contaminated by a stimulus artifact. The stimulus artifact must be removed for appropriate analysis and interpretation of M waves.
The objective of this study was to develop a novel software based method to remove stimulus artifacts contaminating or superimposing with electrically evoked surface electromyography (EMG) or M wave signals.
The multiple stage method uses a series of signal processing techniques, including highlighting and detection of stimulus artifacts using the Savitzky-Golay filtering, estimation of the artifact contaminated region with the Otsu thresholding, and reconstruction of such region using signal interpolation and smoothing. The developed method was tested using M wave signals recorded from biceps brachii muscles by a linear surface electrode array. To evaluate the performance, a series of semi-synthetic signals were constructed from clean M wave and stimulus artifact recordings with different degrees of overlap between them.
The effectiveness of the developed method was quantified by a significant increase in correlation coefficient and a significant decrease in root mean square error between the clean M wave and the reconstructed M wave, compared with those between the clean M wave and the originally contaminated signal. The validity of the developed method was also demonstrated when tested on each channel’s M wave recording using the linear electrode array.
The developed method can suppress stimulus artifacts contaminating M wave recordings.