Real time ECG artifact removal for myoelectric prosthesis control

Ping Zhou*, Blair Lock, Todd A. Kuiken

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


The electrocardiogram (ECG) artifact is a major noise source contaminating the electromyogram (EMG) of torso muscles. This study investigates removal of ECG artifacts in real time for myoelectric prosthesis control, a clinical application that demands speed and efficiency. Three methods with simple and fast implementation were investigated. Removal of ECG artifacts by digital high-pass filtering was implemented. The effects of the cutoff frequency and filter order of high-pass filtering on the resulting EMG signal were quantified. An alternative adaptive spike-clipping approach was also developed to dynamically detect and suppress the ECG artifacts in the signal. Finally, the two methods were combined. Experimental surface EMG recordings with different ECG/EMG ratios were used as testing signals to evaluate the proposed methods. As a key parameter for clinical myoelectric prosthesis control, the average rectified amplitude of the signal was used as the performance indicator to quantitatively analyze the EMG content distortion and the ECG artifact suppression imposed by the two methods. Aiming at clinical application, the optimal parameter assignment for each method was determined on the basis of the performance using the suite of testing signals with various ECG/EMG ratios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number006
Pages (from-to)397-413
Number of pages17
JournalPhysiological Measurement
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2007


  • Adaptive spike clipping
  • ECG artifact removal
  • Electromyogram
  • High pass filtering
  • Myoelectric prosthesis control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Physiology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Real time ECG artifact removal for myoelectric prosthesis control'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this