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Comput Cardiol (2010). 2010 Sep 26;37:489-492.

A Comparison of IIR and Wavelet Filtering for Noise Reduction of the ECG.

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Department of Health Science and Technology, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark.


This study compares the ability to preserve information and reduce noise contaminants on the ECG for five wavelet filters and three IIR filters. Two 3-lead Holter ECGs were used. White Gaussian Noise was added to the first ECG in increments of 10% coverage. The second ECG contained alternating muscle transients and noise-free segments. Computation times and SNR improvements for different noise coverages were calculated and compared. RMS errors were calculated from noise-free segments on the ECG with transient muscle noise. Wavelet filters improved SNR more than IIR filters when the signal coverage was more than 50% noise. In contrast, the computation times were shorter for IIR filters (6 s) than for wavelet filters (88 s). On the ECG with transient muscle noise there was a trade-off in performance between wavelet and IIR filtering. In a clinical setting where the amount of noise is unknown, using IIR filters appears to be preferred for consistent performance.

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