Aims and objectives: To observe the psychological status of pregnant women during COVID-19 pandemic, and to test a hypothetical model that estimates the influence of psychological response to COVID-19 and security sense on pregnancy stress.
Background: COVID-19 advanced rapidly and then spread worldwide. Pregnant women were more susceptible to the COVID-19 infection. Furthermore, it is not clear whether this infection will increase the risk of congenital monstrosity, foetal growth restriction, premature delivery or cause other long-term adverse effects.
Design: A descriptive, cross-sectional survey.
Methods: A total of 331 pregnant women participated in this study. And this research adhered to the STROBE guideline. The psychological questionnaire for emergent events of public health, pregnancy stress scale and security questionnaire were used to collect data. The hypothetical path model was tested using the SPSS version 25.0 software and AMOS version 26.0 software.
Results: Fear and depression were the most common psychological responses among pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic. The hypothesis model of this study fitted the data well, and the results showed that psychological response positively affected pregnancy stress, while security sense negatively affected pregnancy stress; security sense mediated between psychological response and pregnancy stress.
Conclusion: Nurses and midwives can help reduce the stress in pregnant women by alleviating their psychological response to the COVID-19 pandemic and by improving their security sense.
Relevance to clinical practice: : It is essential for the health staff to build trust with pregnant women and their families, and communicate accurate information to them. Nurses should promptly conduct a psychological response evaluation and psychological guidance for pregnant women to alleviate their fears and hypochondria related to COVID-19.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the agent responsible for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), continues to have a devastating impact on healthcare systems worldwide, and many questions remain unanswered. The effect of COVID-19 on the pregnant population is widely debated, and the unique risks in pregnancy have not yet been elucidated. What has been established, however, is the recommendation for healthcare workers to use personal protective equipment (PPE) for both contact and airborne precautions to prevent transmission of the pathogen-adding another barrier to care for vulnerable populations. We report a case of a young woman from Haiti during her first pregnancy, who was admitted to the antepartum service at 22 weeks of gestation with preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM) and remained admitted in isolation, though asymptomatic, for over six weeks due to persistent positive SARS-CoV-2 testing. Our case highlights the unique barriers to care that COVID-19 poses to antepartum patients, particularly in the setting of pregnant women with persistent positive testing.
Background: The pandemic caused by Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) remain threatening to women and children, while clinical evidences regarding women during pregnancy, puerperium and lactation periods are limited.
Objective: We aim to discuss clinical, immunological features and breast feeding advices among mother-infant pairs.
Study design: This observational analysis was conducted in a tertiary center located in Wuhan, China. Pregnant patients with laboratory confirmed COVID-19 who delivered during hospitalization were enrolled. Clinical characteristics and serial specimens of the mother-infant pairs were examined, supplemented with follow-ups regarding recovery and breast feeding.
Results: 14 pregnant patients had live birth and achieved good recovery, four patients continued breast feeding with precautions, no neonatal infection was found. No infants observed developed COVID-19 during breastfeeding. Common maternal symptoms were fever (11/14, 78.1%) and cough (6/14, 42.9%), a pregnancy specific symptom was abnormal fetal movement, noticed in three (21.4%) patients. The mean viral shedding time was nine days (SD 6, range 1-22), SARS- CoV- 2 genome was non-detected in breast milk or maternal vaginal secretions. Immunological assay showed seroconversion of IgM on day eight of onset, IgG on day 28. Both IgM and IgM antibodies to SARS- CoV- 2 are detected in breast milk, cord blood and neonatal serum.
Conclusion: The study suggested passive acquisition of antibody against SARS- CoV- 2 through breast milk ingestion. Breast feeding role is low risk in transmission of SARS- CoV- 2 or cause maternal disease escalation, continue breast feeding with prudent precautions is encouraged.
The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV, later named SARS-CoV-2) is a pandemic disease worldwide. The spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is continuing at a rapid speed. Till May 4, 2020, there have been 3,407,747 confirmed cases and 238,198 deaths globally. The common symptoms in pregnant women are fever, cough, and dyspnea. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) has transient overexpression and increased activity during pregnancy, which is now confirmed as the receptor of SARS-CoV-2 and plays essential roles in human infection and transmission. There is no evidence that pregnant women are more susceptible to SARS-CoV-2. To date, there is no valid medication or vaccination. The immune suppression or modulation during pregnancy increases the risk of severe pneumonia. Remdesivir is an antiviral medication targeting ribonucleic acid (RNA) synthesis that has clinical improvement in the treatment of SARS-CoV-2. Chloroquine is controversial in its effectiveness and safety to treat SARS-CoV-2. Remdesivir is safe in pregnancy. Chloroquine has not been formally assigned to a pregnancy category by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The management strategy includes monitoring fetal heart rate and uterine contractions; early oxygenation if O2 saturation is less than 95%; empiric antibiotics for prevention of secondary infection; corticosteroid to treat maternal SARS-CoV-2 disease routinely is not suggested, only for fetal lung maturation in selected cases; and consideration of delivery is according to the obstetric indication, gestational age, and severity of the disease. During epidemics, delivery at 32-34 weeks is considered. The indication for the Cesarean section should be flexible to minimize the risk of infection during the delivery. The newborn should be in isolation ward immediately after birth; breastfeeding is not contraindicated but should avoid direct transmission infection.
Key message: Laboratory characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 infection did not differ between pregnant and non-pregnant women. A trend of lower lymphocyte count was observed in the pregnant women group PURPOSE: Laboratory abnormalities, which characterize SARS-CoV-2 infection have been identified, nevertheless, data concerning laboratory characteristics of pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2 are limited. The aim of this study is to evaluate the laboratory characteristics of pregnant compared to non-pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Methods: A retrospective cohort study of all pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2 who were examined at the obstetric emergency room in a tertiary medical center between March and April 2020. Patients were compared with non-pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2 matched by age, who were examined at the general emergency room during the study period. All patients were confirmed for SARS-CoV-2 on admission. Clinical characteristics and laboratory results were compared between the groups.
Results: Study group included 11 pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2, who were compared to 25 non-pregnant controls. Respiratory complaints were the most frequent reason for emergency room visit, and were reported in 54.5% and 80.0% of the pregnant and control groups, respectively (p = 0.12). White blood cells, hemoglobin, platelets, and liver enzymes counts were within the normal range in both groups. Lyphocytopenia was observed in 45.5% and 32% of the pregnant and control groups, respectively (p = 0.44). The relative lymphocyte count to WBC was significantly reduced in the pregnant group compared to the controls [13.6% (4.5-19.3) vs. 26.5% (15.7-29.9); p = 0.003]. C-reactive protein [20(5-41) vs. 14 (2-52) mg/dL; p = 0.81] levels were elevated in both groups but without significant difference between them.
Conclusion: Laboratory characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 infection did not differ between pregnant and non-pregnant women, although a trend of lower lymphocyte count was observed in the pregnant women group.
Background: Limited data are available on the perinatal and postnatal transmission of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) recommended breastfeeding with necessary precautions to mothers with COVID-19. Case Presentation: A 20-year-old pregnant woman with no symptoms of COVID-19 presented to the hospital for delivery at 39 weeks of gestation. She was tested for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) because her father had been diagnosed with COVID-19. A nasopharyngeal swab RT-PCR test was positive for SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, the baby and the mother were cared for separately after delivery. Breast milk obtained after first lactation was tested by real-time RT-PCR and was positive for SARS-CoV-2. Conclusions: In this article, we aimed to report the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in breast milk. Although further studies are needed, this situation may have an impact on breastfeeding recommendations.
Aim: The objective of our study was to determine whether the SARS-CoV-2-positive mothers transmit the virus to their hand-expressed colostrum. Methods: This is an observational prospective study that included pregnant women who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by PCR test on a nasopharyngeal swab at the moment of childbirth and who wanted to breastfeed their newborns. A colostrum sample was obtained from the mothers by manual self-extraction. To collect the samples, the mothers wore surgical masks, washed their hands with an 85% alcohol-based gel, and washed their breast with gauze that was saturated with soap and water. Results: We obtained seven colostrum samples from different mothers in the first hours postdelivery. SARS-CoV-2 was not detected in any of the colostrum samples obtained in our study. Conclusion: In our study, breast milk was not a source of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Hand expression (assuring that a mask is used and that appropriate hygienic measures are used for the hands and the breast), when direct breastfeeding is not possible, appears to be a safe way of feeding newborns of mothers with COVID-19.
Background: To date, although neonatal infections with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronovirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have been described, none of these have been proven to be the result of vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
Methods: We describe the probable vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in a neonate born to a mother with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Results: Following cesarean section, the neonate was kept in strict isolation. Molecular tests for SARS-CoV-2 on respiratory samples, blood, and meconium were initially negative, but positive on a nasopharyngeal aspirate on the third day of life. On day 5, the neonate developed fever and coryza, which spontaneously resolved. Viral genomic analysis from the mother and neonate showed identical sequences except for 1 nucleotide.
Conclusion: This report has important implications for infection control and clinical management of pregnant women with COVID-19 and their newborns.
Introduction: Following an exponential increase in SARS-CoV-2 infections, the city of Jena, Thuringia, was the first in Germany to introduce mandatory mouth and nose coverings. An estimation of the SARS-CoV-2 period prevalence was achieved by screening an unselected cohort of pregnant women. Of interest was the number of unreported cases.
Methods: Upon admission to hospital, patients were screened for SARS-CoV-2 by a specific real-time PCR and antibodies determined by a specific SARS-CoV-2 IgG in serum by ELISA. The SARS-CoV-2 period prevalence was estimated using the Clopper-Pearson exact method, the group comparison with Fischer's exact test.
Results: From 6 April to 13 May 2020, 234 pregnant women were admitted to the Department of Obstetrics. A total of 225 (96.2%) SARS-CoV-2 PCRs were carried out and all remained negative. Specific IgG antibodies were detected in one (0.6%) of 180 (76.9%) antibody tests performed. The interval estimate of the period prevalence thus results in a 95% confidence interval between 0-1.7%. For 96 households with children, the period prevalence is 0-3.8%, which does not differ from the 0-4.8% for 76 households without children (p=1.00).
Discussion: This is the first report on the SARS-CoV-2 period prevalence of an unselected sample of pregnant women in Germany. Antibody testing showed no evidence of the feared high number of unreported asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections. The seroconversion rate was below 1% (0.6%).
Reducing maternal mortality is one of the Sustainable Development Goals. Although there is no vigorous evidence that pregnant women are in the high-risk groups in response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), it is crucial to respond to the pandemic through providing required action plans for confirmed or suspected pregnant women cases while maintaining routine functions. Iran's response and preparedness measures to COVID-19 aimed to meet the essential needs required to protect pregnant women and their families. Establishing a national maternal health network, relying on mechanisms for timely reporting, monitoring, and following-up, preparing guidelines and protocols required for COVID-19 management in pregnant women though a multidisciplinary team working approach, and embedding the precautions of reducing transmission in maternity care were the main measures taken to cope with COVID-19 in pregnancy. Iran's experience in providing maternity care during the COVID-19 can guide other countries affected by COVID-19. However, it should be adapted to local health-care facilities, as well as in response to any further updates on COVID-19.
Villitis of unknown etiology (VUE) is noninfectious chronic villitis thought to be associated with fetal growth restriction and stillbirth. COVID-19 and the pandemic SARS-CoV-2 infection can cause an increased risk in pregnant women for potential maternal and fetal complications from an immunological mechanism. We report a 39-week-gestational-age infant delivered to a 37-year-old mother diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection at 37 weeks gestation. The placental examination showed the morphological features of VUE. We showed immunohistochemically that macrophages and CD4-positive T cells predominated in the villous tissue, although elevated numbers of CD8-positive cells were also present. We hypothesize that VUE may represent a maternal anti-viral immune response, in this case to SARS-CoV-2.
Background: The COVID-19 global pandemic has impacted the whole of society, requiring rapid implementation of individual-, population-, and system-level public health responses to contain and reduce the spread of infection. Women in the perinatal period (pregnant, birthing, and postpartum) have unique and timely needs for directives on health, safety, and risk aversion during periods of isolation and physical distancing for themselves, their child or children, and other family members. In addition, they are a vulnerable group at increased risk of psychological distress that may be exacerbated in the context of social support deprivation and a high-risk external environment.
Objective: The aim of this study is to examine the public discourse of a perinatal cohort to understand unmet health information and support needs, and the impacts on mothering identity and social dynamics in the context of COVID-19.
Methods: A leading Australian online support forum for women pre- through to postbirth was used to interrogate all posts related to COVID-19 from January 27 to May 12, 2020, inclusive. Key search terms included "COVID," "corona," and "pandemic." A three-phase analysis was conducted, including thematic analysis, sentiment analysis, and word frequency calculations.
Results: The search yielded 960 posts, of which 831 were included in our analysis. The qualitative thematic analysis demonstrated reasonable understanding, interpretation, and application of relevant restrictions in place, with five emerging themes identified. These were (1) heightened distress related to a high-risk external environment; (2) despair and anticipatory grief due to deprivation of social and family support, and bonding rituals; (3) altered family and support relationships; (4) guilt-tampered happiness; and (5) family future postponed. Sentiment analysis revealed that the content was predominantly negative (very negative: n=537 and moderately negative: n=443 compared to very positive: n=236 and moderately positive: n=340). Negative words were frequently used in the 831 posts with associated derivatives including "worried" (n=165, 19.9%), "risk" (n=143, 17.2%), "anxiety" (n=98, 11.8%), "concerns" (n=74, 8.8%), and "stress" (n=69, 8.3%).
Conclusions: Women in the perinatal period are uniquely impacted by the current pandemic. General information on COVID-19 safe behaviors did not meet the particular needs of this cohort. The lack of nuanced and timely information may exacerbate the risk of psychological and psychosocial distress in this vulnerable, high-risk group. State and federal public health departments need to provide a central repository of information that is targeted, consistent, accessible, timely, and reassuring. Compensatory social and emotional support should be considered, using alternative measures to mitigate the risk of mental health disorders in this cohort.
The global spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus during the early months of 2020 was rapid and exposed vulnerabilities in health systems throughout the world. Obstetric SARS-CoV-2 disease was discovered to be largely asymptomatic carriage but included a small rate of severe disease with rapid decompensation in otherwise healthy women. Higher rates of hospitalization, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) admission and intubation, along with higher infection rates in minority and disadvantaged populations have been documented across regions. The operational gymnastics that occurred daily during the Covid-19 emergency needed to be translated to the obstetrics realm, both inpatient and ambulatory. Resources for adaptation to the public health crisis included workforce flexibility, frequent communication of operational and protocol changes for evaluation and management, and application of innovative ideas to meet the demand.
Introduction: Despite historical exclusion, there has been recent recognition of the need to address the health of pregnant women in research on vaccines against emerging pathogens. However, pregnant women's views and decision-making processes about vaccine research participation during infectious disease outbreaks remain underexplored. This study aims to examine women's decision-making processes around vaccine research participation during infectious disease outbreaks.
Methods: We conducted qualitative semi-structured in-depth interviews with pregnant and recently pregnant women (n = 13), eliciting their views on four hypothetical Zika Virus vaccine research scenarios and probing their decision-making processes around participation. After recorded interviews were transcribed, thematic analysis was conducted based on a priori and emergent themes.
Results: Most women interviewed were accepting of vaccine research scenarios. Three broad themes-evidence, risk, and trust-characterized women's decision-making processes. Women varied in how different types and levels of evidence impacted their considerations, which risks were most salient to their decision-making processes, and from whom they trusted recommendations about vaccine research participation. Exemplary quotes from each theme are presented, and lessons for vaccine development during the current COVID-19 pandemic and future outbreaks are discussed. Conclusion: Some pregnant women are accepting of participation in vaccine research during infectious disease outbreaks. Incorporating their priorities into trial design may facilitate their participation and generation of evidence for this important population.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a novel type of highly contagious pneumonia caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). As the COVID19 outbreak unfolds, more and more pregnant women are infected with SARS-CoV-2, concerns have been raised about its clinical manifestations in pregnancy and the potential risk of vertical transmission from mother to fetus in pregnant women. Hence, in this review, we summarize the latest research progress related to COVID-19 epidemiology and the reported data of pregnant women with COVID-19, and discuss the clinical manifestations, treatments, maternal and perinatal outcomes, and intrauterine vertical transmission potential of such virus. Reported data suggest that symptoms in pregnant women are similar to those in other populations, and that there is no evidence of vertical transmission from mother to child. In the meantime, considering the good prognosis of most of the infected mothers and infants and absence of serious obstetric complications in pregnant women with COVID-19, it is not recommended to give birth as soon as possible, and it is necessary to extend the gestational period reasonably.
Background: Despite the large number of pregnant women with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), there is not enough analytical study to compare maternal and fetal consequences of COVID-19 infected with non-infected pregnancies. This cohort study aimed to compare maternal and fetal consequences of COVID-19 infected with non-infected pregnancies.
Methods: We included pregnant women with and without COVID-19 who were admitted to Arash Hospital in Tehran, Iran from March 1 to Sep 1, 2020. Clinical features, treatments, and maternal and fetal outcomes were assessed.
Result: One hundred and ninety-nine women enrolled, including 66 COVID-19 infected and 133 non-infected pregnant women prospectively. Caesarean Section (CS) was carried out in total 105 women (52.76%). A significant difference was found in term of delivery type between COVID-19 infected and non-infected pregnant women (aRR: 1.31, 95%CI: 1.04, 1.65, p = 0.024). No significant association was found between COVID-19 infection and preterm birth (PB) (aRR: 1.16, 95%CI: 0.54, 2.48, p = 0.689), low birth weight (LBW) (aRR: 1.13, 95%CI: 0.55, 2.31, p = 0.723), gestational diabetes (GDM) (aRR: 1.67, 95%CI: 0.81, 3.42, p = 0.160), preeclampsia (aRR: 2.02, 95%CI: 0.42, 6.78, p = 0.315), intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) (aRR: 0.16, 95%CI: 0.02, 1.86, p = 0.145), preterm rupture of membrane (PROM) (aRR: 0.19, 95%CI: 0.02, 2.20, p = 0.186), stillbirth (aRR: 1.41, 95%CI: 0.08, 18.37, p = 0.614), postpartum haemorrhage (aRR: 1.84, 95%CI: 0.39, 8.63, p = 0.185), neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admission (aRR: 1.84, 95%CI: 0.77, 4.39, p = 0.168), neonatal sepsis (aRR: 0.84, 95%CI: 0.48, 1.48, p = 0.568). The percentage of patients (4/66, 6.06%) being admitted to the ICU was significantly higher than the control group (0%) (p < 0.001).
Conclusion: Basically, although pregnancy and neonatal outcomes were not significantly different, the need for ICU care for pregnant women with COVID-19 was significantly higher compared with those without COVID-19.
Clinical manifestations of coronavirus disease 2019 in pregnant women, in contrast to previous outbreaks, seem to be similar to those of nonpregnant women. During severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), SARS influenza A, and Middle East respiratory syndrome outbreaks, an increased severity of disease among pregnant women was observed. In some pregnant women, respiratory failure can occur and progress quickly to acute respiratory distress syndrome requiring extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) as a rescue therapy. Despite a lack of current guidelines on the use of ECMO in pregnant or postpartum women, this support therapy is an effective salvage therapy for patients with cardiac and/or respiratory failure, and is associated with favorable maternal and fetal outcomes. Herein, the authors report a case of severe COVID-19 disease in a pregnant patient after urgent cesarean delivery, who was treated successfully with ECMO during the postpartum. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation should be considered early when conventional therapy is ineffective, and it is essential to refer to ECMO expert centers.
Background: Coronavirus is challenging the global health care system from time to time. The pregnant state, with alterations in hormone levels and decreased lung volumes due to a gravid uterus and slightly immunocompromised state may predispose patients to a more rapidly deteriorating clinical course and can get a greater risk of harm for both the mother and fetus. Therefore, this systematic review was aimed to assess the effect of coronavirus infection (SARS-CoV-2, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV) during pregnancy and its possibility of vertical maternal-fetal transmission.
Methods: A systematic search was conducted on PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, Google Scholar and the Cochrane Library until the end of April. All authors independently extracted all necessary data using excel spreadsheet form. Only published articles with fully accessible data on pregnant women infected with SARS-CoV, MARS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2 were included. Data on clinical manifestations, maternal and perinatal outcomes were extracted and analyzed.
Result: Out of 879 articles reviewed, 39 studies involving 1316 pregnant women were included. The most common clinical features were fever, cough, and myalgia with prevalence ranging from 30 to 97%, while lymphocytopenia and C-reactive protein were the most common abnormal laboratory findings (55-100%). Pneumonia was the most diagnosed clinical symptom of COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 infection with prevalence ranged from 71 to 89%. Bilateral pneumonia (57.9%) and ground-glass opacity (65.8%) were the most common CT imaging reported. The most common treatment options used were hydroxychloroquine (79.7%), ribavirin (65.2%), and oxygen therapy (78.8%). Regarding maternal outcome, the rate of preterm birth < 37 weeks of gestation was 14.3%, preeclampsia (5.9%), miscarriage (14.5%, preterm premature rupture of membranes (9.2%) and fetal growth restriction (2.8%). From the total coronavirus infected pregnant women, 56.9% delivered by cesarean, 31.3% admitted to ICU, while 2.7% were died. Among the perinatal outcomes, fetal distress rated (26.5%), neonatal asphyxia rated (1.4%). Only, 1.2% of neonates had apgar score < 7 at 5 min. Neonate admitted to ICU was rated 11.3%, while the rate of perinatal death was 2.2%. In the current review, none of the studies reported transmission of CoV from the mother to the fetus in utero during the study period.
Conclusion: Coronavirus infection is more likely to affect pregnant women. Respiratory infectious diseases have demonstrated an increased risk of adverse maternal obstetrical complications than the general population due to physiological changes occurred during pregnancy. None of the studies reported transmission of CoV from the mother to the fetus in utero, which may be due to a very low expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 in early maternal-fetal interface cells.
Background: It has been proposed that pregnant women and their fetuses may be particularly at risk for poor outcomes due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. From the few case series that are available in the literature, women with high risk pregnancies have been associated with higher morbidity. It has been suggested that pregnancy induced immune responses and cardio-vascular changes can exaggerate the course of the COVID-19 infection.
Case presentation: A 26-year old Somalian woman (G2P1) presented with a nine-day history of shortness of breath, dry cough, myalgia, nausea, abdominal pain and fever. A nasopharyngeal swab returned positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Her condition rapidly worsened leading to severe liver and coagulation impairment. An emergency Caesarean section was performed at gestational week 32 + 6 after which the patient made a rapid recovery. Severe COVID-19 promptly improved by the termination of the pregnancy or atypical HELLP (Hemolysis, Elevated Liver Enzymes and Low Platelet Count) exacerbated by concomitant COVID-19 infection could not be ruled out. There was no evidence of vertical transmission.
Conclusion: This case adds to the growing body of evidence which raises concerns about the possible negative maternal outcomes of COVID-19 infection during pregnancy and advocates for pregnant women to be recognized as a vulnerable group during the current pandemic.
Objectives With clinical experience from previous coronavirus infections, public health measures and fear of infection may have negative psychological effects on pregnant women. This study aimed to compare the level of anxiety and depression in the same pregnant women before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods The pregnant women continuing pregnancy who participated in the first study which was undertaken to clarify the factors associated with mental health of pregnant women before the COVID-19 pandemic, were included for the current study during the outbreak. Anxiety and depression symptoms of the same pregnant women were evaluated by using the Inventory of Depression and Anxiety Symptoms II and Beck Anxiety Inventory twice before and during the pandemic. Results A total of 63 pregnant women completed questionnaires. The mean age of the women and the mean gestational age was 30.35±5.27 years and 32.5±7 weeks, respectively. The mean total IDAS II score was found to increase from 184.78±49.67 (min: 109, max: 308) to 202.57±52.90 (min: 104, max: 329) before and during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. According to the BAI scores the number of patients without anxiety (from 10 to 6) and with mild anxiety (from 31 to 24) decreased and patients with moderate (from 20 to 25) and severe anxiety (from 2 to 8) increased after SARS-CoV-2 infection. Multivariate linear regression analysis revealed that obesity and relationship with her husband are the best predictors of IDAS II scores. Conclusions This study indicated that COVID-19 outbreak affects the mental health of pregnant women negatively which leads to adverse birth outcomes. The level of anxiety and depression symptoms of pregnant women during the COVID-19 infection significantly increased. Healthcare professionals should establish comprehensive treatment plans for pregnant women who are highly vulnerable population to prevent mental trauma during the infectious disease outbreaks.
We aimed to evaluate the postpartum depression rates and maternal-infant bonding status among immediate postpartum women, whose last trimester overlapped with the lockdowns and who gave birth in a tertiary care center which had strong hospital restrictions due to serving also for COVID-19 patients, in the capital of Turkey. The low-risk term pregnant women who gave birth were given the surveys Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale (EPDS) and Maternal Attachment Inventory (MAI) within 48 h after birth. A total of 223 women were recruited. The median score obtained from the EPDS was 7 (7) and 33 (14.7%) of the women were determined to have a risk for postpartum depression. The median scores of the EPDS inventory of depressive women were 15 (3). The median MAI score of 223 women was 100 (26); and the MAI scores of women with depression were significantly lower than the controls [73 (39) vs. 101 (18) respectively, p < 0.001]. Evaluation of the factors that affect the psychological status of pregnant and postpartum women will lead the healthcare system to improve the implementations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic caused by COVID-19 is affecting populations and healthcare systems worldwide. As we gain experience managing COVID-19, more data become available on disease severity, course, and treatment in patients infected with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). However, data in pregnancy remains limited. This narrative review of COVID-19 during pregnancy underscores key knowledge gaps in our understanding of the impact of this viral infection on reproductive health. Current data suggest that pregnant people have similar disease course and outcomes compared to nonpregnant people, with the majority experiencing mild disease, however pregnant people may have increased risk of hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) admission. Among patients who develop severe and critical disease, major maternal morbidity and mortality have been described including cardiomyopathy, mechanical ventilation, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, and death. Many questions remain regarding maternal severity of disease in COVID-19. Further research is needed to better understand disease course in pregnancy. Additionally, the inclusion of pregnant patients in therapeutic trials will provide vital data on treatment options for patients. As we continue to treat more patients affected by SARS-CoV-2, multidisciplinary care and continued research are both needed to achieve optimal outcomes for mother and fetus.
Purpose: To investigate the clinico-radiological findings and outcomes in pregnant women with COVID-19 pneumonia compared to age-matched non-pregnant women.
Methods: A retrospective case-controlled study was conducted to review clinical and CT data of 21 pregnant and 19 age-matched non-pregnant women with COVID-19 pneumonia. Four stages of CT images were analyzed and compared based on the time interval from symptom onset: stage 1 (0-6 days), stage 2 (7-9 days), stage 3 (10-16 days), and stage 4 (>16 days). The initial and follow-up data were analyzed and compared.
Results: Compared with age-matched non-pregnant women, initial absence of fever (13/21, 62%) and normal lymphocyte count (11/21, 52%) were more frequent in pregnant group. The predominant patterns of lung lesions were pure ground-glass opacity (GGO), GGO with consolidation or reticulation, and pure consolidation in both groups. Pure consolidation on chest CT was more common at presentation in pregnant cases. Pregnant women progressed with a higher consolidation frequency compared with non-pregnant group in stage 2 (95% vs 82%). Improvement was identified in stages 3 and 4 for both groups, but consolidation was still more frequent for pregnant women in stage 4. Most patients (38/40, 95%) were grouped as mild or common type. The length of hospitalization between the two groups was similar.
Conclusion: Pregnant women with COVID-19 pneumonia did not present typical clinical features, while developing a relatively more severe disease at imaging with a slower recovery course and experiencing similar outcomes compared with the non-pregnant women.
The COVID-19 outbreak has spread across the globe at an alarming rate. As the pandemic escalates, experience of COVID-19 in pregnant women is accumulating. We present a case of COVID-19 pneumonia in a 28-week pregnant woman with a known low lying placenta. The patient had deranged liver function tests at presentation, along with elevated bile acids. We discuss the differential diagnosis of these findings, and the possible mechanisms of hepatic injury in COVID-19. The low lying placenta in this patient meant that we had to carefully consider the application of recommendations for thromboprophylaxis in pregnant COVID-19 patients. With supportive management, this patient improved enough to be discharged, and has gone on to deliver a healthy neonate at term.
Objective: To evaluate the accessibility of pregnant women to prenatal screening and diagnostic tests during the COVID-19 pandemic process and analyze the effect of the pandemic process on acceptance-rejection rates of fetal diagnostic procedures for high risk pregnancies.
Materials and methods: As part of this cross-sectional study, during the pandemic, between the dates of 11 March 2020-30 June 2020 at Karadeniz Technical University Faculty of Medicine Perinatology Clinic, fetal structural anomaly detected by ultrasonography or with increased risk in screening test in the first and second trimester of high risk pregnancies, who were therefore recommended a prenatal diagnosis test, were defined as the control group and retrospectively compared with high risk pregnancies of the same periods (11 March 2019-30 June 2019) in the previous year.
Results: A total of 267 cases were evaluated within the scope of the study. The rate of pregnant women undergoing the first and second trimester screening tests was 83% in the control group and 56% for pregnant women in the study group. When the total number of prenatal diagnostic procedures and the year each of the procedures performed are compared, a statistically significant difference was found between the study and control groups (p: .041 and p < .001, respectively). When evaluating the rates of performed prenatal diagnostic procedures during the first patient visit in comparison to years, a statistically significant difference was observed in the A/S group and in the total number of cases (p = .023, p < .001, respectively). Similarly, the rate of performed prenatal diagnostic procedure during the first patient visit and the patient's city of residence was similarly statistically significant from year to year (p < .05).
Conclusions: The decrease in number of prenatal diagnosis and screening tests during the COVID-19 pandemic draws attention. Prenatal care services are a serious issue that cannot be overcome by any deficiencies in both maternal and fetal care.
Objective: To determine the clinical manifestations, risk factors, and maternal and perinatal outcomes in pregnant and recently pregnant women with suspected or confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19).
Design: Living systematic review and meta-analysis.Data sources: Medline, Embase, Cochrane database, WHO COVID-19 database, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), and Wanfang databases from 1 December 2019 to 26 June 2020, along with preprint servers, social media, and reference lists. Study selection: Cohort studies reporting the rates, clinical manifestations (symptoms, laboratory and radiological findings), risk factors, and maternal and perinatal outcomes in pregnant and recently pregnant women with suspected or confirmed covid-19.
Data extraction: At least two researchers independently extracted the data and assessed study quality. Random effects meta-analysis was performed, with estimates pooled as odds ratios and proportions with 95% confidence intervals. All analyses will be updated regularly.
Results: 77 studies were included. Overall, 10% (95% confidence interval 7% to14%; 28 studies, 11 432 women) of pregnant and recently pregnant women attending or admitted to hospital for any reason were diagnosed as having suspected or confirmed covid-19. The most common clinical manifestations of covid-19 in pregnancy were fever (40%) and cough (39%). Compared with non-pregnant women of reproductive age, pregnant and recently pregnant women with covid-19 were less likely to report symptoms of fever (odds ratio 0.43, 95% confidence interval 0.22 to 0.85; I2=74%; 5 studies; 80 521 women) and myalgia (0.48, 0.45 to 0.51; I2=0%; 3 studies; 80 409 women) and were more likely to need admission to an intensive care unit (1.62, 1.33 to 1.96; I2=0%) and invasive ventilation (1.88, 1.36 to 2.60; I2=0%; 4 studies, 91 606 women). 73 pregnant women (0.1%, 26 studies, 11 580 women) with confirmed covid-19 died from any cause. Increased maternal age (1.78, 1.25 to 2.55; I2=9%; 4 studies; 1058 women), high body mass index (2.38, 1.67 to 3.39; I2=0%; 3 studies; 877 women), chronic hypertension (2.0, 1.14 to 3.48; I2=0%; 2 studies; 858 women), and pre-existing diabetes (2.51, 1.31 to 4.80; I2=12%; 2 studies; 858 women) were associated with severe covid-19 in pregnancy. Pre-existing maternal comorbidity was a risk factor for admission to an intensive care unit (4.21, 1.06 to 16.72; I2=0%; 2 studies; 320 women) and invasive ventilation (4.48, 1.40 to 14.37; I2=0%; 2 studies; 313 women). Spontaneous preterm birth rate was 6% (95% confidence interval 3% to 9%; I2=55%; 10 studies; 870 women) in women with covid-19. The odds of any preterm birth (3.01, 95% confidence interval 1.16 to 7.85; I2=1%; 2 studies; 339 women) was high in pregnant women with covid-19 compared with those without the disease. A quarter of all neonates born to mothers with covid-19 were admitted to the neonatal unit (25%) and were at increased risk of admission (odds ratio 3.13, 95% confidence interval 2.05 to 4.78, I2=not estimable; 1 study, 1121 neonates) than those born to mothers without covid-19.
Conclusion: Pregnant and recently pregnant women are less likely to manifest covid-19 related symptoms of fever and myalgia than non-pregnant women of reproductive age and are potentially more likely to need intensive care treatment for covid-19. Pre-existing comorbidities, high maternal age, and high body mass index seem to be risk factors for severe covid-19. Preterm birth rates are high in pregnant women with covid-19 than in pregnant women without the disease.
The consequences of COVID-19 infecting pregnant women and the potential risks of vertical transmission have become a major issue. Since little is currently known about COVID-19 in pregnancy, the understanding of COVID-19 in this particular group will be updated in time, and a comprehensive review will be useful to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 in pregnancy. Based on recently published literature and official documents, this review provides an introduction to the pathogenesis, pathology, and clinical features of COVID-19 and has focused on the current researches on clinical features, pregnancy outcomes and placental histopathological analysis from pregnant women infected with SARS-CoV-2 in comparison with SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. These viruses trigger a cytokine storm in the body, produce a series of immune responses, and cause changes in peripheral leukocytes and immune system cells leading to pregnancy complications that may be associated with viral infections. The expression of ACE2 receptors in the vascular endothelium may explain the histological changes of placentas from pregnant women infected by SARS-CoV-2. Pregnant women with COVID-19 pneumonia show similar clinical characteristics compared with non-pregnant counterparts. Although there is no unequivocal evidence to support the fetal infection by intrauterine vertical transmission of SARS, MERS and SARS-CoV-2 so far, more and more articles began to report maternal deaths due to COVID-19. In particular, from February 26, 2020 (date of the first COVID-19 case reported in Brazil) until June 18, 2020, Brazil reported 124 maternal deaths. Therefore, pregnant women and neonates require special attention regarding the prevention, diagnosis and management of COVID-19.
The pandemic of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has affected more than 19.7 million persons worldwide with 7,28,013 deaths till 10th August 2020. It has put an unprecedented workload on health care systems with special reference to labor rooms and obstetrics as deliveries can't be stopped or postponed. Preparing their facilities using triage (COVID positive patients, COVID suspect patients and COVID negative patients) can help to better utilize the limited resources and helps in prevention of spread of disease and improve maternal and perinatal outcome. There is need for proper training of healthcare providers for judicious use of personal protective equipment(PPEs) for optimum outcome. Fortunately, the available literature suggests that there is no substantial increased risk of acquiring COVID-19 in pregnancy or its increased virulence in pregnancy and labor and there is no adverse effects on fetus and neonate with negligible fetal transmission rate. Nevertheless, utmost care is needed to manage such pregnancies, their prenatal care and labor. This review aimed to highlight the main recommendations applied in Indians maternities for better management of pregnancy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Objective: The study sought to examine the psychological distress of Israeli pregnant women during the worldwide spread of COVID-19. As Israel has a diverse cultural-religious population, the sample included both Jewish and Arab women, allowing us to explore the differences between them. Furthermore, we examined the contribution of personal resources, both internal (self-mastery and resilience) and external (perceived social support), as well as the level of infection-related anxiety to the women's psychological distress.
Method: A convenience sample of 403 Israeli women (233 Jewish and 170 Arab) was recruited through social media.
Results: Arab women reported significantly higher infection-related anxiety and psychological distress than Jewish women. In addition, Jewish women reported significantly higher self-mastery than Arab pregnant women. Finally, poorer health, being an Arab woman, and lower levels of self-mastery, resilience, and perceived social support, as well as a higher level of infection-related anxiety, contributed significantly to greater psychological distress.
Conclusions: The findings show that pregnant women in general may be at risk of psychological distress in times of crisis, and that minority populations in particular may be at greater risk than others. Moreover, the results highlight the contribution of women's personal and environmental resources in the face of crisis, an understanding that may be used in targeted interventions to reduce distress in vulnerable populations.
Introduction: While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant global health impact, rates of maternal to infant vertical transmission remain low (<5%). Parenchymal changes of placentas from COVID-19 infected mothers have been reported by several groups, but the localization and relative abundance of SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins and cellular entry machinery has not been fully characterized within larger placental tissue cohorts.
Methods: An extended placental tissue cohort including samples from 15 COVID-19 positive maternal-fetal dyads (with n = 5 cases with evidence of fetal transmission) in comparison with 10 contemporary COVID-19 negative controls. Using comparative immunofluorescence, we examined the localization and relative tissue abundance of SARS-CoV2 spike glycoprotein (CoV2 SP) along with the co-localization of two SARS-CoV2 viral entry proteins angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2).
Results/conclusions: CoV2 SP was present within the villous placenta in COVID-19 positive pregnancies with and without evidence of fetal transmission. We further identified the predominance of ACE2 expression in comparison with TMPRSS2. Importantly, both CoV2 SP and ACE2 expression consistently localized primarily within the outer syncytiotrophoblast layer placental villi, a key physiologic interface between mother and fetus. Overall this study provides an important basis for the ongoing evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 physiology in pregnancy and highlights the importance of the placenta as a key source of primary human tissue for ongoing diagnostic and therapeutic research efforts to reduce the global burden of COVID-19.
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The effects of this infection on fetal development and whether there is vertical transmission are currently unknown. We present two cases of pregnant women with COVID-19 infection during the first and second trimester of gestation in which a PCR study of SARS-CoV-2 in amniotic fluid extracted by amniocentesis is performed to try to determine if there is vertical transmission. In both cases, the PCR result was negative. This fact could support the absence of vertical transmission when the infection occurs in these quarters. It would be advisable to carry out more extensive studies to be able to make this statement safely.
This study report focuses on facts on a pregnant woman of COVID-19 who admitted to Al Ahsa Maternity and Children Hospital on March 2020, with suspicion of COVID-19 infection. The patient was complaining of labor pain prior to presentation. The objective of this study is to report the case and to describe the challenges that are faced while dealing with a case of COVID-19 pregnant patient, during labor, delivery, and surgical intervention. This case reports a patient in labor pain with suspicion of COVID-19 infection due to contact with a positive COVID-19 family member. With no clinical signs or symptoms consistent with the disease, and positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) outcome for COVID-19 later on, the hospital main departments conducted an active contact tracing and reviewed the preparation and infection prevention control precautions. The most common problem with COVID-19 is the low level of awareness between healthcare workers related to infection prevention and transmission of the COVID-19 virus. The illness can be better handled and the medical team can be more secure by enhancing the education, case triage, proper guideline and protocols to be implemented appropriately.
Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19), has recently emerged as a major threat to human health. Infections range from asymptomatic to severe (increased respiratory rate, hypoxia, significant lung involvement on imaging) or critical (multi-organ failure or dysfunction or respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation or high flow nasal canula). Current evidence suggests that pregnancy women are at increased risk of severe disease, specifically the need for hospitalization, ICU admission and mechanical ventilation, and the already complex management of infection with an emerging pathogen may be further complicated by pregnancy. The goal of this review is to provide an overview of what is known about the clinical course of COVID-19 in pregnancy, drawing on 1) experience with other coronaviruses such as SARS and MERS, 2) knowledge of immunologic and physiologic changes in pregnancy and how these might impact infection with SARS-CoV-2 and 3) the current literature reporting outcomes in pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2. We also briefly summarize considerations in management of severe COVID-19 in pregnancy.
Background: While there is some evidence that SARS-CoV-2 can invade the human placenta, limited data exist on the gestational-age dependent expression profile of the SARS-CoV-2 cell entry mediators, ACE2 and TMPRSS2 at the human maternal-fetal interface. There is also no information as to whether the expression of these mediators is altered in pregnancies complicated by pre-eclampsia (PE) or preterm birth (PTB). This is important since the expression of decidual and placental ACE2 and TMPRSS2 across gestation may impact susceptibility of pregnancies to vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
Objectives: To investigate the expression pattern of specific SARS-CoV-2 cell entry genes, ACE2 and TMPRSS2, in the placenta across human pregnancy and in paired samples of decidua and placenta in pregnancies complicated by PTB or PE compared to term, uncomplicated pregnancies.Study design: Two separate cohorts of patients, totalling 87 pregnancies were included. The first cohort comprised of placentae from first (7-9 weeks), second (16-18 weeks), third-trimester preterm (26-31 weeks) and third-trimester term (38-41 weeks) pregnancies (n=5/group), whereas, the second independent cohort, included matched decidua and placentae from pregnancies from term, uncomplicated pregnancies (37-41 weeks; n=14) as well as pregnancies complicated by PTB (26-37 weeks, n=11) or PE (25-37 weeks n=42). Samples were subjected to qPCR and next-generation sequencing (NGS)/RNAseq for ACE2 and TMPRSS2 mRNA expression quantification, respectively.
Results: In the first cohort, the SARS-CoV-2 cell entry genes ACE2 and TMPRSS2 exhibited a gestational-age dependent expression profile, i.e. ACE2 and TMPRSS2 mRNA was higher (p<0.05) in the first trimester compared to second trimester, PTB and term placentae (p<0.05) and exhibited a negative correlation with gestational age (p<0.05). In the second cohort, RNAseq demonstrated very low/undetectable expression levels of ACE2 in PTB, PE and term decidua and in placentae from late gestation. In contrast, TMPRSS2 was expressed in both decidual and placental samples but did not change in pregnancies complicated by either PTB or PE.
Conclusions: The increased expression of these SARS-CoV-2 cell entry associated genes in the placenta during the first trimester compared to later stages of pregnancy suggest the possibility of differential susceptibility to placental entry to SARS-CoV-2 across pregnancy. Even though there is some evidence of increased rates of PTB associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection, we found no increase in mRNA expression of ACE2 or TMPRSS2 at the maternal-fetal interface.
Objective: The objective of this study is to systematically synthesize the currently available literature on various modes of transmission (congenital, intrapartum, and postpartum), clinical features and outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infection in neonates.
Methods: We conducted a comprehensive literature search using PubMed, EMBASE, and Web of Science until 9 June 2020. A combination of keywords and MeSH terms, such as COVID-19, coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, 2019-nCoV, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, neonates, newborn, infant, pregnancy, obstetrics, vertical transmission, maternal-foetal transmission and intrauterine transmission, were used in the search strategy. We included studies reporting neonatal outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 proven pregnancies or neonatal cases diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Results: Eighty-six publications (45 case series and 41 case reports) were included in this review. Forty-five case series reported 1992 pregnant women, of which 1125 (56.5%) gave birth to 1141 neonates. A total of 281 (25%) neonates were preterm, and caesarean section (66%) was the preferred mode of delivery. Forty-one case reports describe 43 mother-baby dyads of which 16 were preterm, 9 were low birth weight and 27 were born by caesarean section. Overall, 58 neonates were reported with SARS-CoV-2 infection (4 had a congenital infection), of which 29 (50%) were symptomatic (23 required ICU) with respiratory symptoms being the predominant manifestation (70%). No mortality was reported in SARS-CoV-2-positive neonates.
Conclusion: The limited low-quality evidence suggests that the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infections in neonates is extremely low. Unlike children, most COVID-positive neonates were symptomatic and required intensive care. Postpartum acquisition was the commonest mode of infection in neonates, although a few cases of congenital infection have also been reported.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been a worldwide pandemic diseases, nearly 400,000 people died at now. The data of status of pregnant women and neonates after infection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2) is limited. We report a case of pregnant woman in her third trimester with critical COVID-19, and amniotic fluid, umbilical cord blood, placenta, and neonatal gastric fluid were retained during cesarean section. The SARS-COV-2 nucleic acid test results of these specimens were negative. There is no evidence of intrauterine vertical transmission during delivery in the third trimester, but the data are limited and need to be further explored.
Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a novel very contagious infection which was designated a pandemic in all countries of the world in April 2020. Its presentation varies from mild to severe infection, but the majority of infected patients have mild manifestations. Many therapeutic choices have been suggested to treat the infection, but none are fully effective.
Case summary: Herein we present a 26-year-old woman with a twin pregnancy at 36 wk and one day gestation with confirmed COVID-19 who responded dramatically to convalescent plasma therapy (CPT) and Favipiravir.
Conclusion: Although this case report shows the efficacy of CPT in addition to usual medications used for COVID-19, there are many questions that need to be answered regarding dosage, para-clinical efficacy, side effects and combination therapy.
Background: Evans syndrome (ES) is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by autoimmune hemolytic anemia along with immune thrombocytopenic purpura. Few case reports of ES in pregnancy have been published, and ES may be difficult to distinguish from other diagnoses more common in pregnancy. Guidelines for treatment of ES are not well-defined.
Case: A 23-year-old multigravid woman in active labor was found to have severe anemia and thrombocytopenia. She was diagnosed with ES and started on immunosuppressive treatments for persistent immune thrombocytopenic purpura. In the postpartum period, she was found to have coronavirus (COVID-19) infection and acute pulmonary embolism.
Conclusion: Evans syndrome is a challenge to diagnose in pregnancy and poses important considerations for intrapartum and postpartum management.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by SARS-CoV-2, is highly infectious and its ongoing outbreak has been declared a global pandemic by the WHO. Pregnant women are susceptible to respiratory pathogens and the development of severe pneumonia, suggesting the urgent need to assess the potential maternal and infant outcome of pregnancy with COVID-19. The intrauterine vertical transmission potential of SARS-CoV-2 also remains controversial. Herein, we discuss the potential effect of COVID-19 on maternal and infant outcomes based on current studies, including those published in Chinese, in a total of 80 mothers with COVID-19 and 80 infants. We also comprehensively explored the mother-to-child transmission routes of SARS-CoV-2, in particular the route of intrauterine vertical transmission. Given SARS-CoV-2 is a sister to SARS-CoV, of the SARS-related coronavirus species, we made a comprehensive comparison between them to learn from experiences with SARS. Although there is no evidence supporting the intrauterine vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2, our comprehensive analysis suggests that the adverse maternal and infant outcomes caused by COVID-19 cannot be underestimated. Further, we speculated that the inconsistency between nucleic acids and serological characteristics IgM to SARS-CoV-2 of infants' specimens may be caused by the disruption of the amniotic barrier by the inflammatory factors induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our review is beneficial to understand the effect of SARS-CoV-2 on maternal and infant outcomes.
Aim: To evaluate the beliefs held by the public regarding sexual health, pregnancy, and breastfeeding during COVID-19 era.
Methods: It was an online cross-sectional survey conducted through the Survey Monkey® platform and after proper ethical approval a self-designed questionnaire was circulated by the snowballing sampling technique through the Whatsapp platform.
Results: 1636 people respondent to the survey questionnaire. 63% of the participants mentioned that kissing could spread nCoV-SARS. Unprotected sexual intercourse with the spouse can cause infection spread, was reported by about one-third (35.9%). Nearly one-fifth (22%) thought that unprotected sexual intercourse with unknown partners/persons could not spread the infection. About half (49.7%) of the participants reported COVID-19 infection can be transmitted from mother to the child/fetus during the process of birth or during pregnancy and one-fifth (21.3%) of the participants reported going ahead with the Cesarean section if the mother is suspected of having or is confirmed to have COVID-19 infection. About one-fifth feared for risk of birth defects and abortion in case the mother is infected with COVID-19. 28% of the participants reported COVID-19 infection can be transmitted to newborn by breastfeeding.
Conclusions:The present study suggests that a significant proportion of people have misinformation about sexual intimacy, pregnancy, and breastfeeding in the ongoing pandemic which needs to be addressed.
Background: Our understanding of the impact of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) on pregnancies and perinatal outcomes is limited. The clinical course of neonates born to women who acquired coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) during their pregnancy has been previously described. However, the course of neonates born with complex congenital malformations during the COVID-19 pandemic is not known.
Methods: We report a case series of seven neonates with congenital heart and lung malformations born to women who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 during their pregnancy at a single academic medical center in New York City.
Results: Six infants had congenital heart disease and one was diagnosed with congenital diaphragmatic hernia. In all seven infants, the clinical course was as expected for the congenital lesion. None of the seven exhibited symptoms generally associated with COVID-19. None of the infants in our case series tested positive by nasopharyngeal test for SARS-CoV-2 at 24 hours of life and at multiple points during their hospital course.
Conclusions: In this case series, maternal infection with SARS-CoV-2 during pregnancy did not result in adverse outcomes in neonates with complex heart or lung malformations. Neither vertical nor horizontal transmission of SARS-CoV-2 was noted.
A case of a pregnant woman suffering from COVID-19 is presented, who developed coagulopathy in the absence of severe clinical symptoms. The PCR test of the vaginal swab was positive on SARS-CoV-2 RNA, suggesting a possibility of perinatal transmission. A cesarean delivery was done because of a non-reassuring fetal heart rate; the placenta showed increased perivillous fibrin deposition and intervillositis. Moreover, placental infection with SARS-CoV-2 was demonstrated by placental immunostaining. We suggest a relation between placental fibrin deposition and both chronic and acute intervillositis, non-reassuring fetal heart rate and coagulopathy in pregnant women with COVID-19. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Background: Collection of biospecimens is a critical first step to understanding the impact of COVID-19 on pregnant women and newborns - vulnerable populations that are challenging to enroll and at risk of exclusion from research. We describe the establishment of a COVID-19 perinatal biorepository, the unique challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and strategies used to overcome them.
Methods: A transdisciplinary approach was developed to maximize the enrollment of pregnant women and their newborns into a COVID-19 prospective cohort and tissue biorepository, established on March 19, 2020 at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). The first SARS-CoV-2 positive pregnant woman was enrolled on April 2, and enrollment was expanded to SARS-CoV-2 negative controls on April 20. A unified enrollment strategy with a single consent process for pregnant women and newborns was implemented on May 4. SARS-CoV-2 status was determined by viral detection on RT-PCR of a nasopharyngeal swab. Wide-ranging and pregnancy-specific samples were collected from maternal participants during pregnancy and postpartum. Newborn samples were collected during the initial hospitalization.
Results: Between April 2 and June 9, 100 women and 78 newborns were enrolled in the MGH COVID-19 biorepository. The rate of dyad enrollment and number of samples collected per woman significantly increased after changes to enrollment strategy (from 5 to over 8 dyads/week, P < 0.0001, and from 7 to 9 samples, P < 0.01). The number of samples collected per woman was higher in SARS-CoV-2 negative than positive women (9 vs 7 samples, P = 0.0007). The highest sample yield was for placenta (96%), umbilical cord blood (93%), urine (99%), and maternal blood (91%). The lowest-yield sample types were maternal stool (30%) and breastmilk (22%). Of the 61 delivered women who also enrolled their newborns, fewer women agreed to neonatal blood compared to cord blood (39 vs 58, P < 0.0001).
Conclusions: Establishing a COVID-19 perinatal biorepository required patient advocacy, transdisciplinary collaboration and creative solutions to unique challenges. This biorepository is unique in its comprehensive sample collection and the inclusion of a control population. It serves as an important resource for research into the impact of COVID-19 on pregnant women and newborns and provides lessons for future biorepository efforts.
To explore the mental health consequences of COVID-19-related social restrictions on pregnant women living in low socioeconomic status. Prenatal women appearing at the Mount Sinai Hospital Ambulatory Practice were screened for mood symptomatology from February 2, 2020, through June 12, 2020. An improvement in prenatal mood was observed following social restrictions compared to before the pandemic. The impact of COVID-19 remains largely unknown and may be useful towards understanding the needs of pregnant women living in poverty.
Objectives To report our experience with early postpartum discharge to decrease hospital length of stay among low-risk puerperium patients in a large obstetrical service during the COVID-19 pandemic in New York. Methods Retrospective analysis of all uncomplicated postpartum women in seven obstetrical units within a large health system between December 8th, 2019 and June 20th, 2020. Women were stratified into two groups based on date of delivery in relation to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York (Mid-March 2020); those delivering before or during the COVID-19 pandemic. We compared hospital length of stay, defined as time interval from delivery to discharge in hours, between the two groups and correlated it with the number of COVID-19 admissions to our hospitals. Statistical analysis included use of Wilcoxon rank sum test and Chi-squared test with significance defined as p-value<0.05. Results Of the 11,770 patients included, 5,893 (50.1%) delivered prior to and 5,877 (49.9%) delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic. We detected substantial shortening in postpartum hospital length of stay after vaginal delivery (34 vs. 48 h, p≤0.0001) and cesarean delivery (51 vs. 74 h, p≤0.0001) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Conclusions We report successful implementation of early postpartum discharge for low-risk patients resulting in a significantly shorter hospital stay during the COVID-19 pandemic in New York. The impact of this strategy on resource utilization, patient satisfaction and adverse outcomes requires further study.
Background: Novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), which causes COVID-19, has thus far affected over 15 million individuals, resulting in over 600,000 deaths worldwide, and the number continues to rise. In a large systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature including 2,567 pregnant women, 7% required intensive care admission, with a maternal mortality ~1% and perinatal mortality below 1%. There has been a rapid increase in publications on COVID-19 associated coagulopathy, including disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (DIC) and VTE, in the non-pregnant population, but very few reports of COVID-19 coagulopathy during pregnancy; leaving us with no guidance for care of this specific population.
Methods: This is a collaborative effort conducted by a group of experts which was reviewed, critiqued and approved by the ISTH Subcommittee for Women's Health Issues in Thrombosis and Hemostasis. A structured literature search was conducted, and the quality of current and emerging evidence was evaluated. Based on the published studies in the non-pregnant and pregnant population with a moderate to high risk of bias as assessed by Newcastle-Ottawa scale and acknowledging the absence of data from randomized clinical trials for management of pregnant women infected with SARS-CoV-2, a consensus in support of a guidance document for COVID-19 coagulopathy in pregnancy was identified.
Results and conclusions: Specific haemostatic issues during pregnancy were highlighted, preliminary recommendations to assist in the care of COVID-19-affected pregnant women with coagulopathy or thrombotic complications were developed. An international registry to gather data to support the management of COVID-19 and associated coagulopathy in pregnancy was established.
Purpose: Pregnant women are facing numerous COVID-19 related burdens including social isolation, financial insecurity, uncertainty about the impact of the virus on fetal development, and prenatal care restrictions. We tested the psychometric properties of a new instrument designed to assess the extent and types of pandemic-related stress experienced by pregnant women.
Materials and methods: 4,451 pregnant women from across the U.S. were recruited via social media and completed an online questionnaire in April-May 2020. The questionnaire included measures of psychological, sociodemographic, and obstetric factors and the new Pandemic-Related Pregnancy Stress Scale (PREPS).
Results: Confirmatory factor analyses of the PREPS showed excellent model fit. Three factors - Perinatal Infection Stress (5 items), Preparedness Stress (7 items), and Positive Appraisal (3 items) - converged and diverged with expected psychological factors, and scales created from these factors demonstrated acceptable to good reliability (α's 0.68-0.86). In addition, mean PREPS scores were associated with perceived risk of infection, and with financial and vocational COVID-19 related burdens.
Conclusion: The PREPS is a robust instrument to assess multidimensional COVID-19 pandemic prenatal stress. It is a valuable tool for future research to examine vulnerability to pandemic stress and how this stress may affect women and their offspring.
Background: The world's understanding of COVID-19 continues to evolve as the scientific community discovers unique presentations of this disease. This case report depicts an unexpected intraoperative coagulopathy during a cesarean section in an otherwise asymptomatic patient who was later found to have COVID-19. This case suggests that there may be a higher risk for intrapartum bleeding in the pregnant, largely asymptomatic COVID-positive patient with more abnormal COVID laboratory values.
Case: The case patient displayed D-Dimer elevations beyond what is typically observed among this hospital's COVID-positive peripartum population and displayed significantly more oozing than expected intraoperatively, despite normal prothrombin time, international normalized ratio, fibrinogen, and platelets.
Conclusion: There is little published evidence on the association between D-Dimer and coagulopathy among the pregnant population infected with SARS-CoV-2. This case report contributes to the growing body of evidence on the effects of COVID-19 in pregnancy. A clinical picture concerning for intraoperative coagulopathy may be associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection during cesarean sections, and abnormal COVID laboratory tests, particularly D-Dimer, may help identify the patients in which this presentation occurs.
Objectives: To cope with the changing healthcare services in the era of SARS-CoV-2 pandemic; we share the institutional framework for the management of anomalous fetuses requiring fetal intervention at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. To assess the success of our program during this time, we compare intraoperative outcomes of fetal interventions performed during the pandemic, with the previous year.
Patients: We implemented our testing protocol on patients undergoing fetal intervention at our institution between March 1st and May 15th 2020 and we compared to same period a year before. A total of 17 pregnant patients with anomalous fetuses who met criteria for fetal intervention were included; 8 from 2019 and 9 from 2020.
Methods: Our testing protocol was designed based on our institutional perinatal guidelines, surgical requirements from Infection prevention and control (IPAC) committee and input from our fetal surgery team; with focus on urgency of procedure and maternal SARS-CoV-2 screening status. We compared the indications, types of procedures, maternal age, gestational age at procedure, type of anesthesia used and duration of procedure for cases performed at our institution between March 1st, 2020 to May 15th, 2020 and the same period in 2019.
Results: There were no statistically significant differences between the number of cases, indications, types of procedures, maternal age, gestational age, types of anesthesia and duration of procedures (p values were all > 0.05) between pre-SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in 2019 and SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in 2020.
Conclusion: Adoption of new institutional protocols during SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, with appropriate screening and case selection, allows provision of necessary fetal intervention with maximum benefit to mother, fetus and health care provider.
Background: From the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic, pregnant women have been considered at greater risk of severe morbidity and mortality. However, data on hospitalized pregnant women show that the symptom profile and risk factors for severe disease are similar to those among women who are not pregnant, although preterm birth, Cesarean delivery, and stillbirth may be more frequent and vertical transmission is possible. Limited data are available for the cohort of pregnant women that gave rise to these hospitalized cases, hindering our ability to quantify risk of COVID-19 sequelae for pregnant women in the community.
Objective: To test the hypothesis that pregnant women in community differ in their COVID-19 symptoms profile and disease severity compared to non-pregnant women. This was assessed in two community-based cohorts of women aged 18-44 years in the United Kingdom, Sweden and the United States of America.
Study design: This observational study used prospectively collected longitudinal (smartphone application interface) and cross-sectional (web-based survey) data. Participants in the discovery cohort were drawn from 400,750 UK, Sweden and US women (79 pregnant who tested positive) who self-reported symptoms and events longitudinally via their smartphone, and a replication cohort drawn from 1,344,966 USA women (162 pregnant who tested positive) cross-sectional self-reports samples from the social media active user base. The study compared frequencies of symptoms and events, including self-reported SARS-CoV-2 testing and differences between pregnant and non-pregnant women who were hospitalized and those who recovered in the community. Multivariable regression was used to investigate disease severity and comorbidity effects.
Results: Pregnant and non-pregnant women positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection drawn from these community cohorts were not different with respect to COVID-19-related severity. Pregnant women were more likely to have received SARS-CoV-2 testing than non-pregnant, despite reporting fewer clinical symptoms. Pre-existing lung disease was most closely associated with the severity of symptoms in pregnant hospitalized women. Heart and kidney diseases and diabetes were additional factors of increased risk. The most frequent symptoms among all non-hospitalized women were anosmia [63% in pregnant, 92% in non-pregnant] and headache [72%, 62%]. Cardiopulmonary symptoms, including persistent cough [80%] and chest pain [73%], were more frequent among pregnant women who were hospitalized. Gastrointestinal symptoms, including nausea and vomiting, were different among pregnant and non-pregnant women who developed severe outcomes.
Conclusions: Although pregnancy is widely considered a risk factor for SARS-CoV-2 infection and outcomes, and was associated with higher propensity for testing, the profile of symptom characteristics and severity in our community-based cohorts were comparable to those observed among non-pregnant women, except for the gastrointestinal symptoms. Consistent with observations in non-pregnant populations, comorbidities such as lung disease and diabetes were associated with an increased risk of more severe SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy. Pregnant women with pre-existing conditions require careful monitoring for the evolution of their symptoms during SARS-CoV-2 infection.
This paper from India describes anxieties that pregnant and postpartum women reported to obstetricians during the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the 118 obstetricians who responded to an online survey, most had been contacted for concerns about hospital visits (72.65%), methods of protection (60.17%), the safety of the infant (52.14%), anxieties related to social media messages (40.68%) and contracting the infection (39.83%). Obstetricians felt the need for resources such as videos, websites and counselling skills to handle COVID-related anxiety among perinatal women.
Data from both New York and London report a high prevalence of the asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnant patients admitted for delivery, raising questions on the possible correlated dangers (i.e. contacts with healthcare workers; the possible creation of an intra-hospital outbreak at birth; conflicting evidences on vertical transmission). For this study, results from SARS-CoV-2 screening via nasopharyngeal swab from maternity wards of the four hospitals of Genoa, Italy were collected during a month of complete lockdown, from April 1 to April 30, 2020. Out of 333 tested women, only nine were symptomatic. Only one symptomatic patient (0.3%) and six asymptomatic ones (1.8%) tested positive. Out of the six positive asymptomatic patients, five were from the most disadvantaged neighbourhood of the city (assessed by postal code). In conclusion, even if Italy was badly affected by COVID19 in the studied month, the reported prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infections in asymptomatic pregnant patients at term was lower than the ones reported in literature. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
With begin of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic the german obstetric, peri-/neonatological and pediatric professional societies published recommendations for care of pregnant and newborn, as well as for necessary staff protection in March 2020 [1-3].Because of the rapid emerging increase of knowledge an update is required. This work therefore perceives as prosecution of the existing recommendations [1-3].Worldwide national recommendations were recently compared and published in aconsensual review . In methodological dependence this update of recommendations comments on key questions of pre-, peri- and postnatal care at SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, based on publications up to 30.05.2020. Statements represent a carefully concerned expert consensus and can change contemporary as new knowledge appears.The responsibility for concrete management remains at thelocal medical team, decisions should be supported by these recommendations.
The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has developed into a pandemic, yet still has many unknowns. The modalities of transmission, different symptoms and manifestations as well as concomitant circumstances of the disease are insufficiently characterized. Especially patient groups in special situations like pregnant women and newborns have to be considered separately. The current knowledge about pregnancy, labor and the first days of life is characterized by particular uncertainty due to the scarce data available. However, there is currently no evidence of significant unfavorable maternal and perinatal outcome. Many pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2 infection remain asymptomatic. The possibility ofvertical transmission to the child cannot be excluded with certainty. However, indications of vertical transmission were detected only in individual cases. Newborn infections are also rather rare, unspecific and usually mild, with respiratory symptoms dominating. In this article, the data available to date are examined in order to provide better information, advice and treatment for pregnant women and newborns with SARS-CoV-2 and to provide suggestions for future research
Background:The impact of maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection on placental histopathology is not well known.
Objective: To determine if significant placental histopathological changes occur after diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnancy and whether these changes are correlated with the presence or absence of symptoms associated with infection.
Study design: Retrospective cohort study of women diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection who delivered at a single center from April 9th to April 27th, 2020, and hadplacental specimens reviewed by pathology. Women with singleton gestations and laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were eligible for inclusion. Historical controls selected from a cohort of women who delivered 6 months prior to the studyperiod were matched in a 1:1 fashion by week of gestation at delivery. Histopathological characteristics were evaluated in each placenta and the incidenceof these findings were compared between placentas after diagnosis of maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection and historical controls, as well as between placentas from patients with or without typical symptoms related to infection. Statistical analysis included use of Wilcoxon rank sum test and Fisher's exact test for comparison of categorical and continuous variables. Statistical significance was defined as P value < 0.05.
Results: A total of 50 placentas after diagnosis of maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection and 50 historical controls were analyzed. Among placentas from patients diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection, 3 (6%) were preterm (33 3/7, 34 6/7 and 36 6/7 weeks ofgestation), 16 (32%) were from patients with typical symptoms related to infection and 34 (68%) were from patients without typical symptoms related to the infection. All patients had diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the third trimester. Decidual vasculopathy was not visualized in any of the placentas from patients diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection. There was no statistically significant difference in placental histopathological characteristics between the groups. SARS-CoV-2 testing for all neonates at 24 hours of life was negative.
Conclusion: Based on our data, there are no significant placental histopathological changes that occur after diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the third trimester of pregnancy compared to a gestational age-matched historical control group. Similar incidences of histopathological findings were also discovered when comparing placentas from patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection with or without the presence of symptoms typically related to infection.
Epidemiological data available so far suggest that individuals with diabetes, especially when not well controlled, are at greater risk than the general population for SARS-CoV-2 morbidity such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, multiorgan failure, and mortality. Given the significance between COVID-19 and diabetes mellitus and the lack of pregnancy specific recommendations, we aim to provide some guidance and practical recommendations for the management of diabetes in pregnant women during the pandemic, especially for general obstetricians-gynecologists and non-obstetrician taking care of these patients.
Background:Risk factors for SARS-CoV2 infection in pregnancy remain poorly understood. Understanding populations at heightened risk of acquisition is essentialto more effectively target outreach and prevention efforts.
Objective: To compare sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of pregnant women with and without SARS-CoV2 infection and, among those with SARS-CoV2, tocompare characteristics of those who reported COVID-19 symptoms and those who were asymptomatic at diagnosis.
Study design: This retrospective cohort study includes pregnant women who delivered or intended to deliver at Northwestern Memorial Hospital after initiation ofa universal testing protocol on admission (April 8, 2020 - May 31, 2020). Women were dichotomized by whether they tested positive for SARS-CoV2. Among women who tested positive, women were further dichotomized by whether they endorsed symptoms of COVID-19. Bivariable analysis, and non-parametric tests of trend were used for analyses. Logistic regression was used to control for potential confounders as well as to examine effect modification between race and ethnicity and any other identified risk factors.
Results: During the study period, 1,418 women met inclusion criteria, of whom 101 (7.1%) tested positive for SARS-CoV2. Of the 101 women who tested positive, 77 (76.2%) were symptomatic at the time of diagnosis. Compared to women who tested negative for SARS-CoV2, women who tested positive were younger and were more likely to have public insurance, to identify as Black/African-American or Latina,to be unmarried, to be obese, have pre-existing pulmonary disease, and have living children. An increasing number of living children was associated with an increasing risk of SARS-CoV2 infection and this finding persisted after controlling for potential confounders. There was no effect modification between race or ethnicity and havingliving children with regard to the risk of infection. There were no significant differences identified between women who were symptomatic and asymptomatic.
Conclusion: Many risk factors for SARS-CoV2 infection in pregnancy are similar to the social and structural determinants of health that have been reported in the general population. The observed association between SARS-CoV2 infection and having children raises the possibility of children themselves as vectors of viral spread or behavior patterns of parents as mediators of acquisition.
Objective:Treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 is mostly symptomatic, but a widerange of medications are under investigation against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Although pregnant women are excluded from clinical trials,they will inevitably receive therapies whenever they seem effective in nonpregnant patients and even under compassionate use.
Methods: We conducted a review of the literature on placental transfer and pregnancy safety data of drugs under current investigation for coronavirus disease 2019.
Results: Regarding remdesivir, there are no data in pregnant women. Several other candidates already have safety data in pregnant women, because they are repurposed drugs already used for their established indications. Thus, they may be used in pregnancy, although their safety in the context of coronavirus disease 2019 may differ from conventional use. These include HIV protease inhibitors such as lopinavir/ritonavir that have low placental transfer, interferon that does not cross the placental barrier, and hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine that has high placentaltransfer. There are also pregnancy safety and placental transfer data for colchicine, steroids, oseltamivir, azithromycin, and some monoclonal antibodies. However, some drugs are strictly prohibited in pregnancy because of known teratogenicity (thalidomide) or fetal toxicities (renin-angiotensin system blockers). Other candidates including tocilizumab, other interleukin 6 inhibitors, umifenovir, and favipiravir have insufficient data on pregnancy outcomes.
Conclusion: In life-threatening cases of coronavirus disease 2019, the potential risksof therapy to the fetus may be more than offset by the benefit of curing the mother.Although preclinical and placental transfer studies are required for a number of potential anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 drugs, several medications can already be used in pregnant women.
The novel coronavirus disease 2019 caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 has become a pandemic. It has quickly swept across the globe, leaving many clinicians to care for infected patients with limited information about the disease and best practices for care. Our goal is to share our experiences of caring for pregnant and postpartum women with novel coronavirus disease 2019 in New York, which is the coronavirus disease 2019 epicenter in the United States, and review current guidelines. We offer a guide, focusing on inpatient management,including testing policies, admission criteria, medical management, care for the decompensating patient, and practical tips for inpatient antepartum service management.
Background:Perform a systematic review and meta-analysis of SARS-CoV-2 infection and pregnancy.
Methods: Databases (Medline, Embase, Clinicaltrials.gov, Cochrane Library) were searched electronically on 6th April and updated regularly until 8th June 2020. Reports of pregnant women with reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) confirmed COVID-19 were included. Meta-analytical proportion summaries and meta-regression analyses for key clinical outcomes are provided.
Findings: 86 studies were included, 17 studies (2567 pregnancies) in the quantitative synthesis; other small case series and case reports were used to extract rarely-reported events and outcome. Most women (73.9%) were in the third trimester; 52.4% have delivered, half by caesarean section (48.3%). The proportion of Black, Asian or minority ethnic group membership (50.8%); obesity (38.2%), and chronic co-morbidities (32.5%) were high. The most commonly reported clinical symptoms were fever (63.3%), cough (71.4%) and dyspnoea (34.4%). The commonest laboratory abnormalities were raised CRP or procalcitonin (54.0%), lymphopenia (34.2%) and elevated transaminases (16.0%). Preterm birth before 37 weeks' gestation was common (21.8%), usually medically-indicated (18.4%). Maternal intensive care unit admission was required in 7.0%, with intubation in 3.4%. Maternal mortality was uncommon (~1%). Maternal intensive care admission was higher in cohorts with higher rates of co-morbidities (beta=0.007, p<0.05) and maternal age over 35 years (beta=0.007, p<0.01). Maternal mortality was higher in cohorts with higher rates of antiviral drug use (beta=0.03, p<0.001), likely due to residual confounding. Neonatal nasopharyngeal swab RT-PCR was positive in 1.4%
Interpretation: The risk of iatrogenic preterm birth and caesarean delivery was increased. The available evidence is reassuring, suggesting that maternal morbidity is similar to that of women of reproductive age. Vertical transmission of the virus probably occurs, albeit in a small proportion of cases.
The entire world is reeling under the effects of the novel corona virus pandemic. As it is a new infection, our knowledge is evolving constantly. There is limited information about impact of corona virus on neonatal care in relation to newborns with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. In this article, we summarize the current approach to this infection in relation to newborn babies. We discuss the basic aspects of the infection, the approach of care to novel corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in positive pregnant women, the likely presentation in newborns (as per current knowledge), and the approach to the management of neonates with infection or at risk of the infection. Children are less susceptible to COVID-19 infection and generally have a mild course. There is a lower risk of severe disease among pregnant women and neonates. It was recommended to follow the current protocols for management of symptomatic newborn with isolation precautions, antibiotics, and respiratory support.
Maternal sepsis is "a life-threatening condition defined as organ dysfunction resulting from infection during pregnancy, childbirth, post-abortion, or postpartum period." (World Health Organisation, 2017). Serious infection during, or immediately after, pregnancy may go initially unrecognized in an otherwise young and healthy group, who nevertheless do have a compromized immune system. Secondly, whilst malaise, flushes, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain are common in pregnancy, each can herald sepsis with rapid demise for mother and baby. The MBRRACE-UK report in 20171 found an overall sepsis-related maternal mortality rate of 0.56 per 100,000 maternities with a mortality rate from genital tract sepsis of 0.28 per 100,000 maternities. This review will focus on the major causes, recognition, differentiation and microbiological management of sepsis in pregnancy, using two detailed cases to illustrate.
The present cross-sectional study examined the actor-partner interdependence effect of fear of COVID-19 among Iranian pregnant women and their husbands and its association with their mental health and preventive behaviours during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. A total of 290 pregnant women and their husbands (N = 580) were randomly selected from a list of pregnant women in the Iranian Integrated Health System and were invited to respond to psychometric scales assessing fear of COVID-19, depression, anxiety, suicidal intention, mental quality of life, and COVID-19 preventive behaviours. The findings demonstrated significant dyadic relationships between husbands and their pregnant wives' fear of COVID-19, mental health, and preventive behaviours. Pregnant wives' actor effect offear of COVID-19 was significantly associated with depression, suicidal intention, mental quality of life, and COVID-19 preventive behaviours but not anxiety. Moreover, a husband actor effect of fear of COVID-19 was significantly associated with depression, anxiety, suicidal intention, mental quality of life, and COVID-19 preventive behaviours. Additionally, there were significant partner effects observed for both the pregnant wives and their husbands concerning all outcomes. The present study used a cross-sectional design and so is unable to determine the mechanism or causal ordering of the effects. Also, the data are mainly based on self-reported measures which have some limitations due to its potential for social desirability and recall biases. Based on the findings, couples may benefit from psychoeducation that focuses on the effect of mental health problems on pregnant women and the fetus.
Pregnant women and parturients have also been concerned by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, they are not especially at risk for severe forms of the disease prone to induce prematurity but without transmission to the fœtus. Obstetrical management of parturients have changed with an extensive use of teleconsultation and a limitation of relatives in the delivery room and in the ward. The choice of the mode of delivery remains determined by obstetrical reasons, and use of regional anaesthesia remains recommended for labour and caesarean section provided thereis not haemostasis disorders. The pandemic issue has not change management of fever and hypertension. The post-partum period is more impacted due to an increased risk of thromboembolic events justifying an extended use of anticoagulants. On the other hand, the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugsis restricted. The key point was cooperation between obstetricians, anaesthesiologists, intensivists and pediatrician.
The World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, a pandemic in March 2020. Given the severity of COVID-19, appropriate use criteria have been implemented for fetal echocardiography. Screening low risk pregnancies for critical congenital heart disease has typically been a shared responsibility by pediatric cardiologists, obstetricians, and maternal fetal medicine (MFM). Currently, many of the fetal echocardiograms for low risk pregnancies for critical congenital heart disease have been deferred or cancelled with the emphasis on suspected abnormalities by MFMs and obstetricians. In this review, we discuss the literature that has been the basis of screening of low risk pregnancies by pediatric cardiologists. A new approach to more widespread usage of fetal tele-echocardiography may play a large part during COVID-19 and may continue after the pandemic.
The perinatal period involves major developmental transitions which can be conceptualized through a biopsychosocial (BPS; Engel in Science 196:129-136, 1977, 10.1126/science.847460, in The American Journal of Psychiatry 137:535-544, 1980, 10.1176/ajp.137.5.535), systemic (von Bertalanffy, General system theory: Foundations, development, applications, George Braziller, New York, 1968) framework. Thus, no one domain of health in the perinatal period can be understoodwithout exploring how the other domains are both impacted by and impacting the others. As a result of COVID-19, popular media is paying special attention to the biomedical domain of women in the perinatal period as it relates to health outcomesand changes in perinatal healthcare policies; however, considerably less attention isbeing paid to the other BPS health domains and systemic impacts. This paper will outline U.S. changes in healthcare as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic for individuals, couples, and families within the perinatal period (i.e., family planning and conception, prenatal, labor and delivery, and postpartum) and explore the unique psychosocial, systemic impacts. Recommendations for care, including telehealth and virtual support options, and future directions for research will be provided.
During a pandemic, the three basic principles are. to prioritize medical resources, ensure patients' lockdown in order to avoid community transmission and prevent healthcare collapse, and keep the number of visits to an absolute minimum to avoidpatient exposure and safeguard healthcare workers. Antenatal care must be maintained during a health crisis, regardless of the COVID-19 state of alert. Routine and specialist obstetric ultrasound scans are essential for clinical decision-making during pregnancy, as it has a direct impact on the management of mothers and fetuses and on the perinatal outcome. In an attempt to minimize in-person visits, these will be organized according to the established ultrasound schedule. Based on scientific evidence, and on existing main national and international guidelines, this document has been prepared, in which proposals and options are provided for managing pregnant women in the context of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. It includes how a Fetal Medicine Unit facing this health crisis should be restructured, what safety measures should be followed in the performance of obstetric scans and invasive procedures, and how ultrasound rooms, equipment and transducers should be cleaned and disinfected. These recommendations should be adapted to different units based on their resources and infrastructure.
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) disease (COVID-19) has caused a large global outbreak and has had a major impact on health systems and societies worldwide. The generation of knowledge about the disease has occurred almost as fast as its global expansion. Very few studies have reported on the effects of the infection on maternal health, since its onset. The mother and foetus do not seem to be at particularly high risk. Nevertheless, obstetrics and maternal-foetal medicine practice have made profound changes in order to adapt tothe pandemic. In addition, there are aspects specific to COVID-19 and gestation thatshould be known by specialists. In this review an evidenced-based protocol is presented for the management of COVID-19 in pregnancy.
As the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) escalates globally, and no end in sight, we describe an approach for adapting swiftly to the increasing number of COVID-19 parturients admitted into labor and delivery unit. The adaptability includes physical layout, triaging, quick testing, isolating confirmed parturients, access to designated intensive care units, facilitating emergent cesarean deliveries, and educating health care personnel. It is vital that other healthy parturi-ents and healthcare providers must be protected from COVID-19. It is encouraged that institutions exchange and dis-seminate information to succeed in the global fight against this dreaded pandemic.
Introduction: The article presents a protocol of a cross-sectional study of mental health of pregnant women in relation to the coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic. The primary aim is to compare differences in anxiety and depression scores of pregnant women between countries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The secondary aim is to assess demographic, economic, and social aspects affecting maternal anxiety and depression scores among pregnant women worldwide in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, we will be able to compare differences in perception of the different aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic (social distancing, restrictions related to delivery) between countries and according to the epidemic status (number of infected patients, number of reported deaths). The comparisons will also be done according to the COVID-19 status of the participants.
Methods and analysis: It is a web-based anonymous survey of pregnant women living in countries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey is comprised of 3 sections:Web-based recruitment for health research has proven to be cost-effective and efficient. At current times with the COVID-19 pandemic, limited resources and social distancing restrictions, performing a mental health study involving pregnant women on a large international scale cannot be safely conducted without involving social-media.The fears of pregnant women fall into 3 categories: the medical condition, the economic status and the organization of daily activity.The study has received approval of the medical ethics committee and has been registered on Clinicaltrials.gov. Results will be published in peer-reviewed journals and made public through all available media.
Background: Since December 2019, an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread rapidly in Wuhan and worldwide. However, previous studies on pregnant patients were limited.
Objective: The aim of this study is to evaluate the clinical characteristics and outcomes of pregnant and nonpregnant women with COVID-19.
Methods: This study retrospectively collected epidemiological, clinical, laboratory, imaging, management, and outcome data of 43 childbearing-age women patients (including 17 pregnant and 26 nonpregnant patients) who presented with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in Tongji Hospital, Wuhan, China from January 19 to March 2, 2020. Clinical outcomes were followed up to March 28, 2020.
Results: Of the 43 childbearing-age women in this study, none developed a severe adverse illness or died. The median ages of pregnant and nonpregnant women were33.0 and 33.5 years, respectively. Pregnant women had a markedly higher proportion of history exposure to hospitals within 2 weeks before onset compared tononpregnant women (9/17, 53% vs 5/26, 19%, P=.02) and a lower proportion of other family members affected (4/17, 24% vs 19/26, 73%, P=.004). Fever (8/17, 47% vs 18/26, 69%) and cough (9/17, 53% vs 12/26, 46%) were common onsets of symptoms for the two groups. Abdominal pain (n=4, 24%), vaginal bleeding (n=1, 6%), reduced fetal movement (n=1, 6%), and increased fetal movement (n=2, 13%)were observed at onset in the 17 pregnant patients. Higher neutrophil and lower lymphocyte percent were observed in the pregnant group compared to the nonpregnant group (79% vs 56%, P<.001; 15% vs 33%, P<.001, respectively). In both groups, we observed an elevated concentration of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, aminotransferase, and lactate dehydrogenase. Concentrations of alkaline phosphatase and D-dimer in the pregnant group were significantly higher than those of the nonpregnant group (119.0 vs 48.0 U/L, P<.001; 2.1 vs 0.3μg/mL, P<.001, respectively). Both pregnant (4/10, 40%) and nonpregnant (8/15, 53%) women tested positive for influenza A virus. A majority of pregnant and nonpregnant groups received antiviral (13/17, 76%vs 25/26, 96%) and antibiotic (13/17, 76% vs 23/26, 88%) therapy. Additionally, both pregnant (2/11, 18%) and nonpregnant (2/19, 11%) recovered women redetected positive for SARS-CoV-2 after discharge.Conclusions: The epidemiology and clinical and laboratory features of pregnant women with COVID-19 were diverse and atypical, which increased the difficulty of diagnosis. Most pregnant women with COVID-19 were mild and moderate, and rarely developed severe pneumonia or severe adverse outcomes.
Background: This study aimed to analyze the impact of the confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemics on the eating, exercise, and quality-of-life habits of pregnant women.
Methods: This was an internet-based cross-sectional survey which collected information about adherence to the Mediterranean diet, physical exercise, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and perceived obstacles (in terms of exercise, preparation for delivery, and medical appointments) of pregnant women before and after the confinement. The survey was conducted in 18-31 May 2020.
Results: A total of 90 pregnant women participated in this study. There was a significant decrease in the levels of physical activity (p < 0.01) as well as in HRQoL (p < 0.005). The number of hours spent sitting increased by 50% (p < 0.001), 52.2% were unable to attend delivery preparation sessions because these had been cancelled. However, there were no significant differences in the eating pattern of these women (p = 0.672)
Conclusions: These results suggest the need to implement specific online programs to promote exercise and reduce stress, thus improving the HRQoL in this population, should similar confinements need to occur again for any reason in the future.
After the first case of COVID-19 pneumonia was reported in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, in December 2019, the infection quickly spread to the rest of China and then to the wider world. The available information on pregnant women infected with COVID-19 is now significantly greater. There are now several case series and systematic reviews of cohorts, some of which include more than 100 cases. This review evaluates the scientific literature available until May 1, 2020 and discusses common questions about COVID-19 in the context of pregnancy and the postpartum period.
Background: Pregnant women represent a potentially high-risk population in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Objective: To summarize clinical characteristics and outcomes among pregnant women hospitalized with COVID-19.
Search strategy: Relevant databases were searched up until May 29, 2020.
Selection criteria: Case series/reports of hospitalized pregnant women with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19.
Data collection and analysis: PRISMA guidelines were followed. Methodologic quality was assessed via NIH assessment tools.
Main results: Overall, 63 observational studies of 637 women (84.6% in third trimester) with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were included. Most (76.5%) women experienced mild disease. Maternal fatality, stillbirth, and neonatal fatality rates were 1.6%, 1.4%, and 1.0%, respectively. Older age, obesity, diabetes mellitus, and raised serum D-dimer and interleukin-6 were predictive of poor outcomes. Overall, 33.7% of live births were preterm, of which half were iatrogenic among women with mild COVID-19 and no complications. Most women underwent cesarean despite lacking a clear indication. Eight (2.0%) neonates had positive nasopharyngeal swabs after delivery and developed chest infection within 48 hours.
Conclusions: Advanced gestation, maternal age, obesity, diabetes mellitus, and a combination of elevated D-dimer and interleukin-6 levels are predictive of poor pregnancy outcomes in COVID-19. The rate of iatrogenic preterm birth and cesarean delivery is high; vertical transmission may be possible but has not been proved.
Objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a profound impact on health and well-being of populations. However, there are limited studies that have investigated the psychological aspects of vulnerable groups including pregnant women amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, we aimed to assess the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic among Chinese pregnant women from February 2020 until March 2020.
Methods: Our study was conducted using a modified validated online questionnaire comprising of sociodemographic, the Impact of Event Scale (IES), attitude and mental health-related questions towards COVID-19.
Results: A total of 560 women were included. The overall mean age and IES of women was 25.8 ± 2.7 years and 31.4 ± 13.7. Moreover, 67.1% of them had IES ⩾26. Psychological impact seemed to be more severe in women in second trimester of pregnancy (the highest IES) (p = .016). There was a significant association between trimesters of pregnancy and some indicators of negative health impacts (including increased stress from work, increased stress from home, feeling apprehensive and helpless during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic) (all p < .05).
Conclusions: Our results reported moderate-to-severe stressful impact among Chinese pregnant women. We recommend that appropriate measures should be taken to address the maternal mental health issues.
Several states attempted to deem abortions nonessential during the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving some women with difficult choices.
COVID-19 infection also affects obstetric patients. Regular obstetric care has continued despite the pandemic. Case series of obstetric patients have been published. Neuroaxial techniques appear to be safe and it is important to obtain the highest possible rate of success of the blocks before a cesarean section. For this reason, it is recommended that the blocks be carried out by senior anesthesiologists. The protection and safety of professionals is a key point and in case of general anesthesia, so it is also recommended to call to the most expert anesthesiologist. Seriously ill patients should be recognized quickly and early, in order to provide them with the appropriate treatment as soon as possible. Susceptibility to thrombosis makes prophylactic anticoagulation a priority.
Purpose: The purpose of this article is to illustrate and discuss the impact the 2019 novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the delivery of obstetric care, including a discussion on the preexisting barriers, prenatal framework and need for transition to telehealth.
Description: The COVID-19 was first detected in China in December of 2019 and by March 2020 spread to the United States. As this virus has been associated with severe illness, it poses a threat to vulnerable populations-including pregnant women. The obstetric population already faces multiple barriers to receiving quality healthcare due to personal, environmental and economic barriers, now challenged with the additional risks of COVID-19 exposure and limited care in times much defined by social distancing.
Assessment: The current prenatal care framework requires patients to attend multiple in-office prenatal visits that can exponentially multiply depending on maternal and fetal comorbidities. To decrease the rate of transmission of the COVID-19 and limit exposure to patients, providers in Hillsborough County, Florida (and nationwide) are rapidly transitioning to telehealth. The use of a virtual care model allows providers to reduce in-person visits and incorporate virtual visits into the schedule of prenatal care.
Conclusion: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, implementation of telehealth and telehealth have become crucial to ensure the safe and effective delivery of obstetric care. This implementation is one that will continue to require attention to planning, procedures and processes, and thoughtful evaluation to ensure the sustainability of telehealth and telehealth post COVID-19 pandemic.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with high rates of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission, morbidity and mortality in the general population. Evidence-based guidance on caring for babies born to mothers with COVID-19 is needed. There is currently insufficient evidence to suggest vertical transmission between mothers and their newborn infants. However, transmission can happen after birth from mothers or other carers. Based on the currently available data, prolonged skin-to-skin contact and early and exclusive breastfeeding remain the best strategies to reduce the risks of morbidity and mortality for both the mother with COVID-19 and her baby.
Background: Rapid changes to how maternity health care is delivered has occurred in many countries across the globe in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Maternity care provisions have been challenged attempting to balance the needs and safety of pregnant women and their care providers. Women experiencing a pregnancy after loss (PAL) during these times face particularly difficult circumstances.
Aim: In this paper we highlight the situation in three high income countries (Australia, Ireland and USA) and point to the need to remember the unique and challenging circumstances of these PAL families. We suggest new practices may be deviating from established evidence-based guidelines and outline the potential ramifications of these changes.
Findings: Recommendations for health care providers are suggested to bridge the gap between the necessary safety requirements due to the pandemic, the role of the health care provider, and the needs of families experiencing a pregnancy after loss.
Discussion: Changes to practices i.e. limiting the number of antenatal appointments and access to a support person may have detrimental effects on both mother, baby, and their family. However, new guidelines in maternity care practices developed to account for the pandemic have not necessarily considered women experiencing pregnancy after loss.
Conclusion: Bereaved mothers and their families experiencing a pregnancy after loss should continue to be supported during the COVID-19 pandemic to limit unintended consequences.
Because of the COVID-19 Pandemic many problems have emerged in the organization of the National Health Systems. In Italy, a very serious problem is emerging which needs a rapid solution. Italian women are finding increasingly difficult to access abortion. These difficulties are related to the organizational changes that have occurred in many hospitals due to the emergency COVID-19. A possible solution would be to resort to the procedure of pharmacological abortion which, however, in Italy, is characterized by many limitations imposed by law. To protect the right to health of all women will need a reorganization of abortion procedures in Italy with implementation of telehealth services.
Introduction: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a highly contagious disease that quickly reached pandemic levels. Over 5 million COVID-19 cases and approximately 330,000 deaths have been recorded worldwide. Transmission is primarily spread through direct, indirect (through contaminated objects or surfaces), or close contact with infected people via respiratory droplets, the mouth, and/or nose secretions. Health care professionals (HCPs), including dental HCPs, are recognized to be at considerably high risk for infection due to the close proximity to patients and aerosol-generating procedures. During pregnancy, HCPs may be at even higher risk since pregnancy substantially increases the susceptibility to infectious diseases.
Objectives: Here, we present the posed risks and potential effects of COVID-19 on maternal and fetal health. Current prevention and management strategies for COVID-19 on pregnant dental and HCPs are also discussed.
Results: Significant progress is being made in understanding the pathogenesis and clinical consequences of COVID-19. Pregnant women are affected more adversely with viral illnesses, although evidence of vertical transmission of COVID-19 is controversial. Based on the presence of atypical symptoms, the significant numbers of asymptomatic individuals who are COVID-19 positive, and the high susceptibility to viral diseases observed in pregnant women, recommendations have been put forth to limit the exposure of COVID-19-positive or even suspected cases to pregnant HCPs, and these are likely to evolve as new information becomes available.
Conclusion: Pregnant HCPs require extra caution: not only are they considered a high-risk population, but their work at the frontline in a pandemic may expose them to additional risks. Complete awareness of the effects of COVID-19 on maternal and fetal/infant health, as well as prevention and management guidelines for pregnant HCPs, will allow for a safer work environment. Health care institutional policies aimed at protecting pregnant HCPs should consider avoiding their assignment as first responders, especially if equally trained staff are available.
Knowledge transfer statement: Dental and health care professionals can use the information in this review to improve their awareness of COVID-19 risks, signs, and symptoms and the associated effects on the health of pregnant health care professionals and their unborn/newborn children.
At the outset of reorganization, pregnant women with scheduled appointments were contacted and reassured. They were screened telephonically for symptoms before calling them to the facility for counseling and testing. Part of the genetic counseling was also done telephonically and appointments rescheduled accordingly.
SARS-CoV-2 has infected more than 16 million people worldwide. Related complications and death from COVID-19 disease and their underlying pathophysiology are intensely investigated. Pregnant women are among the affected. Although the severity of disease in pregnancy does not appear to be increased, the effects of infection on pregnancy should not escape careful examination. The currently known receptor for the virus, ACE2, regulates the renin-angiotensin system and is increased during pregnancy. Virus-receptor interactions may have significant effects on placental function, fetal development, and maternal immunity. The manifestation of cardiovascular complications of infection produces the hypothesis that a significant effect of the virus may be its influence on the maternal vascular system. Interference with the vascular adaptations to pregnancy and the post-partum may have implications for concurrent and future pregnancies as well as for long-term cardiovascular health. We should not miss the opportunity to learn from this virus about the physiology of pregnancy.
Aim: This study evaluated the level of fear and anxiety related to the COVID-19 outbreak, in infertile women whose ART cycles were delayed due to the pandemic.
Materials and methods: An online survey was sent to women whose ART cycles were postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak between April and May 2020. The study population were 101 participants. The main outcome measure is to determine the levels of fear and anxiety in infertile women by using the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-T and STAI-S) and Fear of COVID-19 scale (FCV-19S). The relationship of the COVID-19 outbreak with the willingness to go ahead with the desire for pregnancy was also assessed.
Results: The state-anxiety levels were significantly higher in women above 35 years (45.0 ± 5.2 vs. 42.2 ± 4.5, p = 0.006). Women with diminished ovarian reserve had a higher state-anxiety compared to other causes, but were not found to be significant (44.7 ± 5.2 vs. 42.5 ± 5.0, p = 0.173). Women who thought that the possibility of not being able to get pregnant was more important than being infected with the COVID-19 had higher anxiety levels than women who thought just the opposite. The diminished ovarian reserve and high duration of infertility were found to be significantly associated with higher anxiety levels (OR = 2.5, p < 0.05). The diminished ovarian reserve and previous ART failure significantly predicted the presence of clinical state-anxiety.
Conclusion: The state-anxiety was found to be higher in women whose cycles were postponed due to the outbreak and the presence of diminished ovarian reserve also significantly affected anxiety levels. Further research is needed to assess whether COVID-19 will have any impact on ART treatments in the next few years.
Objective: This is the first comprehensive review to focus on currently available evidence regarding maternal, fetal and neonatal mortality cases associated with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection, up to July 2020.
Methods: We systematically searched PubMed, Scopus, Google Scholar and Web of Science databases to identify any reported cases of maternal, fetal or neonatal mortality associated with COVID-19 infection. The references of relevant studies were also hand-searched.
Results: Of 2815 studies screened, 10 studies reporting 37 maternal and 12 perinatal mortality cases (7 fetal demise and 5 neonatal death) were finally eligible for inclusion to this review. All maternal deaths were seen in women with previous co-morbidities, of which the most common were obesity, diabetes, asthma and advanced maternal age. Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and severity of pneumonia were considered as the leading causes of all maternal mortalities, except for one case who died of thromboembolism during postpartum period. Fetal and neonatal mortalities were suggested to be a result of the severity of maternal infection or the prematurity, respectively. Interestingly, there was no evidence of vertical transmission or positive COVID-19 test result among expired neonates.
Conclusion: Current available evidence suggested that maternal mortality mostly happened among women with previous co-morbidities and neonatal mortality seems to be a result of prematurity rather than infection. However, further reports are needed so that the magnitude of the maternal and perinatal mortality could be determined more precisely.
Objective: To describe clinical characteristics of pregnant and postpartum women with severe COVID-19 in Brazil and to examine risk factors for mortality DESIGN: Cross-sectional study based on secondary surveillance database analysis SETTING: Nationwide Brazil POPULATION OR SAMPLE: 978 Brazilian pregnant and postpartum women notified as COVID-19 Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) cases with complete outcome (death or cure) until June 18, 2020 METHODS: Data was abstracted from the Brazilian ARDS Surveillance System (ARDS-SS) database. All eligible cases were included. Data on demographics, clinical characteristics, intensive care resources use and outcomes were collected. Risk factors for mortality were examined by multivariate logistic regression.
Main outcome measures: Case fatality rate RESULTS: We identified 124 maternal deaths, corresponding to a case fatality rate among COVID-19 ARDS cases in the obstetric population of 12.7%. At least one comorbidity was present in 48.4% of fatal cases compared to 24.9% in survival cases. Among women who died, 58.9% were admitted to ICU, 53.2% had invasive ventilation and 29.0% had no respiratory support. The multivariate logistic regression showed that the main risk factors for maternal death by COVID-19 were postpartum at onset of ARDS, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, while white ethnicity had a protective effect.
Conclusion: Negative outcomes of COVID-19 in this population are affected by clinical characteristics, but social determinants of health also seem to play a role. It is urgent to reinforce containment measures targeting obstetric population and ensure high quality care throughout pregnancy and postpartum period.
Objective: To assess clinical impact, psychological effects, and knowledge of pregnant women during the COVID-19 outbreak in seven cities in Colombia. Currently, there are uncertainty and concerns about the maternal and fetal consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy.
Methods: A cross-sectional web survey was carried out including pregnant women in seven cities in Colombia. Women were evaluated during the mitigation phase of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic between April 13 and May 18, 2020. The questions evaluated demographic, knowledge, psychological symptoms, and attitudes data regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Results: A total of 1021 patients were invited to participate, obtaining 946 valid surveys for analysis. The rate of psychological consequences of the pandemic was much larger than the number of patients clinically affected by the virus, with 50.4% of the entire cohort reporting symptoms of anxiety, 49.1% insomnia, and 25% reporting depressive symptoms. Poorly informed women were more likely to be younger, affiliated to the subsidized regime, and with lower levels of education.
Conclusion: The knowledge of pregnant women about SARS-CoV-2 infection is far from reality and this seems to be associated with an indirect effect on the concern and psychological stress of pregnant women in Colombia.
Infection with SARS-CoV2 does not spare pregnant women and the possibility of vertical transmission which might lead to fetal damages is pending.
Objective: We hypothesized that the observed low incidence of perinatal infection could be related to a low expression of the membrane receptor for SARS-CoV2, ACE2, in the fetal-placental unit. We evaluated protein expression of ACE2 both in placentas and fetal organs from non-infected pregnancies across gestation.
Methods: Discovery study. Immunocytochemistry analysis for ACE2 in organs and placentas were performed in May 2020, in samples from a registered biobank. Five cases of medical termination of pregnancy performed at between 15 and 38 weeks' in healthy women. Paraffin-embedded tissues (kidneys, brain, lungs, intestinal tract, heart). Matching tissues from 8-year-old children (N=4) were tested as controls. Seven placentas including those of the 5 cases, 1 of a 7-week miscarriage and 1 of a symptomatic SARS-COV2 pregnancy at 34 weeks. Tissues' sections were incubated with rabbit monoclonal anti-ACE2. Protein expression of ACE2 was detected by immunochemistry.
Results: ACE2 expression was detected in fetal kidneys, rectum and ileum across gestation and similarly in the pediatric control. It was barely detectable in lungs at 15 weeks' and not found thereafter. In the pediatric control, ACE2 was only detectable in type 2 pneumocytes. No ACE2 expression was found in the cerebral ependymal, parenchyma nor in cardiac tissues ACE2 was expressed in syncitiotrophoblast and cytotrophoblast from 7th weeks' onwards and across gestation but not in the amnion. Similar intensity and distribution of ACE2 staining were identified in the mother's SARS-CoV2 placenta.
Conclusions: Marked placental expression of ACE2 provides a rationale for vertical transmission at cellular level. Absence of ACE2 expression in the fetal brain and heart is reassuring on the risk of congenital malformation. Clinical follow-up of infected pregnant women and their children are needed to validate these observations. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Background: Rapid changes to how maternity health care is delivered has occurred in many countries across the globe in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Maternity care provisions have been challenged attempting to balance the needs and safety of pregnant women and their care providers. Women experiencing a pregnancy after loss (PAL) during these times face particularly difficult circumstances.
Aim: In this paper we highlight the situation in three high income countries (Australia, Ireland and USA) and point to the need to remember the unique and challenging circumstances of these PAL families. We suggest new practices may be deviating from established evidence-based guidelines and outline the potential ramifications of these changes.
Findings: Recommendations for health care providers are suggested to bridge the gap between the necessary safety requirements due to the pandemic, the role of the health care provider, and the needs of families experiencing a pregnancy after loss.
Discussion: Changes to practices i.e. limiting the number of antenatal appointments and access to a support person may have detrimental effects on both mother, baby, and their family. However, new guidelines in maternity care practices developed to account for the pandemic have not necessarily considered women experiencing pregnancy after loss.
Conclusion: Bereaved mothers and their families experiencing a pregnancy after loss should continue to be supported during the COVID-19 pandemic to limit unintended consequences.
Objective: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a global pandemic and may adversely affect pregnancy outcomes. We estimated the adverse maternal and neonatal characteristics and outcomes among COVID-19 infected women and determined heterogeneity in the estimates and associated factors.
Study designs: PubMed search was performed of confirmed COVID-19 pregnant cases and related outcomes were ascertained prior to July 8, 2020, in this systematic review and meta-analysis. Studies reporting premature birth, low birth weight, COVID-19 infection in neonates, or mode of delivery status were included in the study. Two investigators independently performed searches, assessed quality of eligible studies as per the Cochrane handbook recommendations, extracted and reported data according to PRISMA guidelines. Pooled proportions of maternal and neonatal outcomes were estimated using meta-analyses for studies with varying sample sizes while a systematic review with descriptive data analysis was performed for case report studies. Maternal and neonatal outcomes included C-section, premature birth, low birth weight, adverse pregnancy events and COVID transmission in neonates.
Results: A total of 790 COVID-19 positive females and 548 neonates from 61 studies were analyzed. The rates of C-section, premature birth, low birth weight, and adverse pregnancy events were estimated as 72 %, 23 %, 7 %, and 27 % respectively. In the heterogeneity analysis, the rate of C-section was substantially higher in Chinese studies (91 %) compared to the US (40 %) or European (38 %) studies. The rates of preterm birth and adverse pregnancy events were also lowest in the US studies (12 %, 15 %) compared to Chinese (17 %, 21 %), and European studies (19 %, 19 %). In case reports, the rates of C-section, preterm birth, and low birth weight were estimated as 69 %, 56 %, and 35 %, respectively. Adverse pregnancy outcomes were associated with infection acquired at early gestational ages, more symptomatic presentation, myalgia symptom at presentation, and use of oxygen support therapy.
Conclusions: Adverse pregnancy outcomes were prevalent in COVID-19 infected females and varied by location, type, and size of the studies. Regular screening and early detection of COVID-19 in pregnant women may provide more favorable outcomes.
Introduction: Data regarding transplacental passage of maternal coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) antibodies and potential immunity in the newborn is limited.
Case report: We present a 25-year-old multigravida with known red blood cell isoimmunization, who was found to be COVID-19 positive at 27 weeks of gestation while undergoing serial periumbilical blood sampling and intrauterine transfusions. Maternal COVID-19 antibody was detected 2 weeks after positive molecular testing. Antibodies were never detected on cord blood samples from two intrauterine fetal cord blood samples as well as neonatal cord blood at the time of delivery.
Conclusion: This case demonstrates a lack of passive immunity of COVID-19 antibodies from a positive pregnant woman to her fetus, neither in utero nor at the time of birth. Further studies are needed to understand if passage of antibodies can occur and if that can confer passive immunity in the newborn.
Rationale: Since the end of December 2019, the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic has occurred and spread rapidly throughout China. At present, China's epidemic situation has been basically controlled, but the number of cases worldwide is increasing day by day. On March 11, the WHO officially announced that the COVID-19 had become a global pandemic. However, there are currently limited data on pregnant women with COVID-19 pneumonia and their infants. In this paper, a case of a pregnant woman infected with COVID-19 pneumonia is reported.
Patient concerns: We report a clinically confirmed COVID-19 pregnant woman. The patient was tested negative 4 times in nucleic acid test, but immunoglobulin G was positive and immunoglobulin M was negative before delivery, suggesting a previous infection.
Diagnoses: The pregnant woman underwent a computed tomography scan of both lungs at 29 + 2 weeks of pregnancy, and scattered stiffness and frosted glass shadows of both lungs were observed. According to the diagnostic criteria for COVID-19 pneumonia in the "New Coronavirus Prevention and Control Plan Fifth Edition" of the National Health Commission of China, she was diagnosed as a clinically confirmed case.
Interventions: The pregnant women received nebulized inhalation and oral cephalosporin treatment in a community hospital and was discharged after the symptoms disappeared. After that, she was isolated at home.
Outcomes: The pregnant woman gave birth to a healthy baby after being cured from COVID-19 infection. The nucleic acid test of the neonatal pharyngeal swab was negative, and the neonatal serum test showed positive for immunoglobulin G and negative for immunoglobulin M.
Lessons subsections: The findings of this case report are useful for understanding the possible clinical features of COVID-19 infection in pregnant women, the duration of the antibody, and passive immunity of the fetus.
The 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic poses unique challenges to the medical community as the optimal treatment has not been determined and is often at the discretion of institutional guidelines. Pregnancy has previously been described as a high-risk state in the context of infectious diseases, given a particular susceptibility to pathogens and adverse outcomes. Although ongoing studies have provided insight on the course of this disease in the adult population, the implications of COVID-19 on pregnancy remains an understudied area. The objective of this study is to review the literature and describe clinical presentations among pregnant women afflicted with COVID-19.
In the spring of 2020, expeditious changes to obstetric care were required in New York as cases of COVID-19 increased and pandemic panic ensued. A reduction of in-person office visits was planned with provider appointments scheduled to coincide with routine maternal blood tests and obstetric ultrasounds. Dating scans were combined with nuchal translucency assessments to reduce outpatient ultrasound visits. Telehealth was quickly adopted for selected prenatal visits and consultations when deemed appropriate. The more sensitive cell-free fetal DNA test was commonly used to screen for aneuploidy in an effort to decrease return visits for diagnostic genetic procedures. Antenatal testing guidelines were modified with a focus on providing evidence-based testing for maternal and fetal conditions. For complex pregnancies, fetal interventions were undertaken earlier to avoid serial surveillance and repeated in-person hospital visits. These rapid adaptations to traditional prenatal care were designed to decrease the risk of coronavirus exposure of patients, staff, and physicians while continuing to provide safe and comprehensive obstetric care.
Background: There have been few cohorts of neonates with coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) reported. As a result, there remains much to be learned about mechanisms of neonatal infection including potential vertical transmission, best methods of testing, and the spectrum of clinical findings. This communication describes the epidemiology, diagnostic test results and clinical findings of neonatal COVID-19 during the pandemic in Iran.
Materials and methods: This is a retrospective cohort study of 19 neonates infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) from 10 hospitals throughout Iran. We analyzed obstetrical information, familial COVID-19 status, neonatal medical findings, perinatal complications, hospital readmissions, patterns of repeated testing, and clinical outcomes.
Results: Eleven neonates had family members infected. Five mothers were negative for COVID-19 and four neonates had no identifiable family source of infection. The neonatal mortality rate from COVID-19 was 10%. Seven newborns (37%) were discharged from the hospital as healthy but required readmission for symptoms of COVID-19. There were 2 multifetal gestations - one set each of twins and triplets, each with disparate testing and clinical outcomes. Premature delivery was common, occurring in 12 of 19 infants (63%). Initial testing for COVID-19 was negative in 4 of the 19 neonates (21%) who subsequently became positive. In 2 cases, neonates tested positive at 1 and 2 h after birth which was suspicious for vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
Conclusions: These cases have notable variation in the epidemiology, clinical features, results of testing and clinical outcomes among the infected newborns. Neonates initially testing negative for COVID-19 may require readmission due to infection. Two neonates were highly suspicious for intrauterine vertical transmission. Repeat testing of neonates who initially test negative for COVID-19 is recommended, without which 21% of neonatal infections would have been undiagnosed.
Acute facial nerve disease leading to peripheral facial paralysis is commonly associated with viral infections. COVID-19 may be a potential cause of peripheral facial paralysis and neurological symptoms could be the first and only manifestation of the disease. We report a case of a term pregnancy diagnosed with COVID-19 after presenting with isolated peripheral facial palsy.
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has presented many diagnostic challenges and uncertainties. Little is known about common pathologies complicating pregnancy and how their behaviour is modified by the presence of SARS-CoV-2. Pregnancy itself can alter the body's response to viral infection, which can cause more severe symptoms. We report the first case of a patient affected with sudden-onset severe pre-eclampsia complicated by acute fatty liver disease of pregnancy, HELLP (haemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and low platelet) syndrome and acute kidney injury following SARS-CoV-2 infection. Although an initial diagnostic dilemma, a multidisciplinary team approach was required to ensure a favourable outcome for both the mother and the baby. Our case report highlights the need for health professionals caring for pregnant women to be aware of the complex interplay between SARS-CoV-2 infection and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.
Objective to map the current knowledge on recommendations for labor, childbirth, and newborn (NB) care in the context of the novel coronavirus. Method scoping review of papers identified in databases, repositories, and reference lists of papers included in the study. Two researchers independently read the papers' full texts, extracted and analyzed data, and synthesized content. Results 19 papers were included, the content of which was synthesized and organized into two conceptual categories: 1) Recommendations concerning childbirth with three subcategories - Indications to anticipate delivery, Route of delivery, and Preparation of the staff and birth room, and 2) Recommendations concerning postpartum care with four categories - Breastfeeding, NB care, Hospital discharge, and Care provided to NB at home. Conclusion prevent the transmission of the virus in the pregnancy-postpartum cycle, assess whether there is a need to interrupt pregnancies, decrease the circulation of people, avoid skin-to-skin contact and water births, prefer epidural over general anesthesia, keep mothers who tested positive or are symptomatic isolated from NB, and encourage breastfeeding. Future studies are needed to address directed pushing, instrumental delivery, delayed umbilical cord clamping, and bathing NB immediately after birth.
A 33-year-old pregnant woman was hospitalised with fever, cough, myalgia and dyspnoea at 23.5 weeks of gestation (WG). Development of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) mandated invasive mechanical ventilation. A nasopharyngeal swab proved positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 by reverse transcription-PCR. The patient developed hypertension and biological disorders suggesting pre-eclampsia and HELLP (haemolysis, elevated liver enzyme levels and low platelet levels) syndrome. Pre-eclampsia was subsequently ruled out by a low ratio of serum soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 to placental growth factor. Given the severity of ARDS, delivery by caesarean section was contemplated. Because the ratio was normal and the patient's respiratory condition stabilised, delivery was postponed. She recovered after 10 days of mechanical ventilation. She spontaneously delivered a healthy boy at 33.4 WG. Clinical and laboratory manifestations of COVID-19 infection can mimic HELLP syndrome. Fetal extraction should not be systematic in the absence of fetal distress or intractable maternal disease. Successful evolution was the result of a multidisciplinary teamwork.
Male infertility is linked to some viral infections including human papillomavirus (HPV), herpes simplex viruses (HSV) and human immunodeficiency viruses (HIVs). Almost nothing is known about severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) effect on fertility. The possible risk factors of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection on fertility comes from the abundance of angiotensin-Converting Enzyme-2 (ACE2), receptor entry of the virus, on testes, a reduction in important sex hormone ratios and COVID-19-associated fever. Recent studies have shown a gender difference for COVID-19 rates and comorbidity. In this review, we will discuss the potential effect of COVID-19 on male fertility and talk about what needs to be done by the scientific community to tackle our limited understanding of the disease. On the other side, we will focus on what is known so far about the risk of COVID-19 on pregnancy, neonatal health and the vertical transfer of the virus between mothers and their neonates. Finally, because reproduction is a human right and infertility is considered a health disease, we will discuss how assisted reproductive clinics can cope with the pandemic and what guidelines they should follow to minimise the risk of viral transmission.
Objective: To prevent the rapid spread of COVID-19, the Chinese government implemented a strict lockdown in Wuhan starting on 23 January, 2020, which inevitably led to the changes in indications for the mode of delivery. In this retrospective study, we present the changes in the indications for cesarean delivery (CD) and the birth weights of newborns after the lockdown in Wuhan.
Methods: A total of 3,432 pregnant women in the third trimester of their pregnancies who gave birth in our hospital from 23 January 2019 to 24 March 2020 were selected as the observation group, while 7,159 pregnant women who gave birth from 1 January 2019 to 22 January 2020 were selected as the control group; control group was matched using propensity score matching (PSM). A comparative analysis of the two groups was performed with the chi-square test, t test and rank sum test.
Results: The difference in the overall rate of CD between the two groups was not statistically significant (p<0.05). Among the indications for CD, CD on maternal request (CDMR) and fetal distress were also significantly more common in the observation group (p<0.05) than the control group. Furthermore, we found that the weight of newborns was significantly heavier in the observation group than in the control group when considering full-term or close-to-full-term births (p<0.05).
Conclusions: The results may provide useful information to management practices regarding pregnancy and childbirth after lockdown in other cities or countries, enabling better control of the rate of CD due to CDMR, reducing fetal distress, and controlling newborn weight. We recommend that pregnant women pay more attention to controlling the weight of newborns through diet and exercise.
Objective: To evaluate the rate of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection with the use of universal testing in our obstetric population presenting for scheduled deliveries, as well as the concordance or discordance rate among their support persons during the initial 2-week period of testing. Additionally, we assessed the utility of a screening tool in predicting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) testing results in our cohort.
Methods: This was an observational study in which all women who were scheduled for a planned delivery within the Mount Sinai Health system from April 4 to April 15, 2020, were contacted and provided with an appointment for themselves as well as their support persons to undergo COVID-19 testing 1 day before their scheduled delivery. Both the patients and the support persons were administered a standardized screen specific for COVID-19 infection by telephone interview. Those support persons who screened positive were not permitted to attend the birth. All patients and screen-negative support persons underwent SARS-CoV-2 testing.
Results: During the study period, 155 patients and 146 support persons underwent SARS-CoV-2 testing. The prevalence of asymptomatic COVID-19 infection was 15.5% (CI 9.8-21.2%) and 9.6% (CI 4.8-14.4%) among patients and support persons, respectively. The rate of discordance among tested pairs was 7.5%. Among patients with COVID-19 infection, 58% of their support persons also had infection; in patients without infection, fewer than 3.0% of their support persons had infection.
Conclusion: We found that more than 15% of asymptomatic maternity patients tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection despite having screened negative with the use of a telephone screening tool. Additionally, 58% of their asymptomatic, screen-negative support persons also tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Alternatively, testing of the support persons of women who had tested negative for COVID-19 infection had a low yield for positive results. This has important implications for obstetric and newborn care practices as well as for health care professionals.
Objective: To characterize symptoms and disease severity among pregnant women with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection, along with laboratory findings, imaging, and clinical outcomes.
Methods: Pregnant women with COVID-19 infection were identified at two affiliated hospitals in New York City from March 13 to April 19, 2020, for this case series study. Women were diagnosed with COVID-19 infection based on either universal testing on admission or testing because of COVID-19-related symptoms. Disease was classified as either 1) asymptomatic or mild or 2) moderate or severe based on dyspnea, tachypnea, or hypoxia. Clinical and demographic risk factors for moderate or severe disease were analyzed and calculated as odds ratios (ORs) with 95% CIs. Laboratory findings and associated symptoms were compared between those with mild or asymptomatic and moderate or severe disease. The clinical courses and associated complications of women hospitalized with moderate and severe disease are described.
Results: Of 158 pregnant women with COVID-19 infection, 124 (78%) had mild or asymptomatic disease and 34 (22%) had moderate or severe disease. Of 15 hospitalized women with moderate or severe disease, 10 received respiratory support with supplemental oxygen and one required intubation. Women with moderate or severe disease had a higher likelihood of having an underlying medical comorbidity (50% vs 27%, OR 2.76, 95% CI 1.26-6.02). Asthma was more common among those with moderate or severe disease (24% vs 8%, OR 3.51, 95% CI 1.26-9.75). Women with moderate or severe disease were significantly more likely to have leukopenia and elevated aspartate transaminase and ferritin. Women with moderate or severe disease were at significantly higher risk for cough and chest pain and pressure. Nine women received ICU or step-down-level care, including four for 9 days or longer. Two women underwent preterm delivery because their clinical status deteriorated.
Conclusion: One in five pregnant women who contracted COVID-19 infection developed moderate or severe disease, including a small proportion with prolonged critical illness who received ICU or step-down-level care.
Objective: To evaluate patient satisfaction after integration of audio-only virtual visits into a pre-existing prenatal care schedule within a large, county-based system during the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. Methods: We implemented audio-only prenatal virtual visits in response to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic within a large, county-based prenatal care system serving predominantly women with low socioeconomic status and limited resources. Using a four-question telephone survey, we surveyed a cross-section of patients who had opted to participate in virtual visits to assess their level of satisfaction surrounding audio-only visits. In addition, average clinic wait times and attendance rates by visit type were examined.
Results: From March 17 to May 31, 2020, more than 4,000 audio-only virtual prenatal visits were completed in our system. After implementation, the percentage of visits conducted through the virtual platform gradually rose, with nearly 25% of weekly prenatal visits being performed through the virtual platform by the month of May. Clinic wait times trended downward after implementation of virtual visits (P<.001). On average, 88% of virtual prenatal visits were completed as scheduled, whereas only 82% of in-person visits were attended (P<.001). Hospital administration attempted to contact 431 patients who had participated in at least one virtual visit to assess patient satisfaction; 283 patients were reached and agreed to participate (65%). Ninety-nine percent of respondents reported that their needs were met during their audio-only virtual visits. The majority of patients preferred a combination of in-person and virtual visits for prenatal care, and patients reported many benefits with virtual visits.
Conclusion: Audio-only virtual prenatal visits-as a complement to in-person prenatal visits-have specific and distinct advantages compared with video-enabled telehealth in a vulnerable population of women and offer a viable option to increase access to care.
Individual state maternal mortality review committees aim to comprehensively review all maternal deaths to not only evaluate the cause of death, but also to assess preventability and make recommendations for action to prevent future deaths. The maternal mortality review committee process remains critical during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Maternal deaths due to COVID-19 have been reported in the United States. Some state maternal mortality review committees may choose to expedite review of these deaths in an effort to quickly provide clinicians with information intended to prevent other deaths during the ongoing pandemic. If states opt to pursue rapid review, entry of data into the Maternal Mortality Review Information Application system for submission to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will allow for aggregation nationally without duplication. It will be important to review not only deaths directly attributed to COVID-19, but also those that may be indirectly related to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as those influenced by changes in care practices or delays in seeking care during the pandemic. Therefore, regardless of the timing of the review, maternal deaths that occur during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic must be evaluated within that framework to ensure that all factors contributing to the death are considered to better understand the context of each of these tragic events.
Objective: To describe the characteristics and birth outcomes of women with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection as community spread in New York City was detected in March 2020.
Methods: We performed a prospective cohort study of pregnant women with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection who gave birth from March 13 to April 12, 2020, identified at five New York City medical centers. Demographic and clinical data from delivery hospitalization records were collected, and follow-up was completed on April 20, 2020.
Results: Among this cohort (241 women), using evolving criteria for testing, 61.4% of women were asymptomatic for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) at the time of admission. Throughout the delivery hospitalization, 26.5% of women met World Health Organization criteria for mild COVID-19, 26.1% for severe, and 5% for critical. Cesarean birth was the mode of delivery for 52.4% of women with severe and 91.7% with critical COVID-19. The singleton preterm birth rate was 14.6%. Admission to the intensive care unit was reported for 17 women (7.1%), and nine (3.7%) were intubated during their delivery hospitalization. There were no maternal deaths. Body mass index (BMI) 30 or higher was associated with COVID-19 severity (P=.001). Nearly all newborns tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 infection immediately after birth (97.5%).
Conclusion: During the first month of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in New York City and with evolving testing criteria, most women with laboratory-confirmed infection admitted for delivery did not have symptoms of COVID-19. Almost one third of women who were asymptomatic on admission became symptomatic during their delivery hospitalization. Obesity was associated with COVID-19 severity. Disease severity was associated with higher rates of cesarean and preterm birth.
Health care team training and simulation-based education are important for preparing obstetrical services to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Priorities for training are identified in two key areas. First, the impact of infection prevention and control protocols on processes of care (e.g., appropriate and correct use of personal protective equipment, patient transport, preparation for emergency cesarean delivery with the potential for emergency intubation, management of simultaneous obstetric emergencies, delivery in alternate locations in the hospital, potential for increased decision-to-delivery intervals, and communication with patients). And second, the effects of COVID-19 pathophysiology on obstetrical patients (e.g., testing and diagnosis, best use of modified obstetric early warning systems, approach to maternal respiratory compromise, collaboration with critical care teams, and potential need for cardiopulmonary resuscitation). However, such training is more challenging during the COVID-19 pandemic because of the requirements for social distancing. This article outlines strategies (spatial, temporal, video-recording, video-conferencing, and virtual) to effectively engage in health care team training and simulation-based education while maintaining social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to a global public health emergency with the need to identify vulnerable populations who may benefit from increased screening and healthcare resources. Initial data suggests that overall, pregnancy is not a significant risk factor for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, case series have suggested that maternal obesity is one of the most important co-morbidities associated with more severe disease. In obese individuals, suppressors of cytokine signaling are upregulated and type I and III interferon responses are delayed and blunted leading to ineffective viral clearance. Obesity is also associated with changes in systemic immunity involving a wide range of immune cells and mechanisms that lead to low-grade chronic inflammation, which can compromise antiviral immunity. Macrophage activation in adipose tissue can produce low levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6). Further, adipocyte secretion of leptin is pro-inflammatory and high circulating levels of leptin have been associated with mortality in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome. The synergistic effects of obesity-associated delays in immune control of COVID-19 with mechanical stress of increased adipose tissue may contribute to a greater risk of pulmonary compromise in obese pregnant women. In this review, we bring together data regarding obesity as a key co-morbidity for COVID-19 in pregnancy with known changes in the antiviral immune response associated with obesity. We also describe how the global burden of obesity among reproductive age women has serious public health implications for COVID-19.
Since December 2019, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused over 12 million infections and more than 550,000 deaths.1 Morbidity and mortality appear partly due to host inflammatory response.2 Despite rapid, global research, the effect of SARS-CoV-2 on the developing fetus remains unclear. Case reports indicate that vertical transmission is uncommon; however there is evidence that placental and fetal infection can occur.3-7 Placentas from infected patients show inflammatory, thrombotic and vascular changes that have been found in other inflammatory conditions.8,9 This suggests that the inflammatory nature of SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy could cause adverse obstetric and neonatal events. Exposure to intrauterine inflammation and placental changes could also potentially result in long-term, multisystemic defects in exposed infants. This review will summarize the known literature on the placenta in SARS-CoV-2 infection, evidence of vertical transmission, and possible outcomes of prenatal exposure to the virus.
Background: Anxiety and depression symptoms in pregnancy typically affect between 10 and 25% of pregnant individuals. Elevated symptoms of depression and anxiety are associated with increased risk of preterm birth, postpartum depression, and behavioural difficulties in children. The current COVID-19 pandemic is a unique stressor with potentially wide-ranging consequences for pregnancy and beyond.
Methods: We assessed symptoms of anxiety and depression among pregnant individuals during the current COVID-19 pandemic and determined factors that were associated with psychological distress. 1987 pregnant participants in Canada were surveyed in April 2020. The assessment included questions about COVID-19-related stress and standardized measures of depression, anxiety, pregnancy-related anxiety, and social support.
Results: We found substantially elevated anxiety and depression symptoms compared to similar pre-pandemic pregnancy cohorts, with 37% reporting clinically relevant symptoms of depression and 57% reporting clinically relevant symptoms of anxiety. Higher symptoms of depression and anxiety were associated with more concern about threats of COVID-19 to the life of the mother and baby, as well as concerns about not getting the necessary prenatal care, relationship strain, and social isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Higher levels of perceived social support and support effectiveness, as well as more physical activity, were associated with lower psychological symptoms.
Conclusion: This study shows concerningly elevated symptoms of anxiety and depression among pregnant individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic, that may have long-term impacts on their children. Potential protective factors include increased social support and exercise, as these were associated with lower symptoms and thus may help mitigate long-term negative outcomes.
COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, is thought to cause a milder illness in pregnancy with a greater proportion of asymptomatic carriers. This has important implications for the risk of patient-to-staff, staff-to-staff and staff-to-patient transmission among health professionals in maternity units. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of previously undiagnosed SARS-CoV-2 infection in health professionals from two tertiary-level maternity units in London, UK, and to determine associations between healthcare workers' characteristics, reported symptoms and serological evidence of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. In total, 200 anaesthetists, midwives and obstetricians, with no previously confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, were tested for immune seroconversion using laboratory IgG assays. Comprehensive symptom and medical histories were also collected. Five out of 40 (12.5%; 95%CI 4.2-26.8%) anaesthetists, 7/52 (13.5%; 95%CI 5.6-25.8%) obstetricians and 17/108 (15.7%; 95%CI 9.5-24.0%) midwives were seropositive, with an overall total of 29/200 (14.5%; 95%CI 9.9-20.1%) of maternity healthcare workers testing positive for IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Of those who had seroconverted, 10/29 (35.5%) were completely asymptomatic. Fever or cough were only present in 6/29 (21%) and 10/29 (35%) respectively. Anosmia was the most common symptom occurring in 15/29 (52%) seropositive participants and was the only symptom that was predictive of positive seroconversion (OR 18; 95%CI 6-55). Of those who were seropositive, 59% had not self-isolated at any point and continued to provide patient care in the hospital setting. This is the largest study of baseline immune seroconversion in maternity healthcare workers conducted to date and reveals that one out of six were seropositive, of whom one out of three were asymptomatic. This has significant implications for the risk of occupational transmission of SARS-CoV-2 for both staff and patients in maternity units. Regular testing of staff, including asymptomatic staff should be considered to reduce transmission risk.
The pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has become the reason of the global health crisis. Since the first case of diagnosed COVID-19 pneumonia was reported in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, in December 2019, the infection has spread rapidly to all over the world. The knowledge gained from previous human coronavirus infection outbreaks suggests that pregnant women and their foetuses represent a high-risk population during infectious disease epidemics. Moreover, a pregnancy, due to the physiological changes involving immune and cardiopulmonary systems, is a state predisposing women to respiratory complications of viral infection. The constantly increasing number of publications regarding the course of COVID-19 infection in pregnant women has been published, however, the available data remains limited and many questions remain unanswered. The aim of this review was to summarize the literature data and adjusted to current recommendations regarding pregnancy care, delivery and postpartum period. An extremely important issue is the need to register all the cases of COVID-19 affected women and the course of these pregnancies to local, regional, or international registries, which will be helpful to answer many clinical and scientific questions and to create guidelines ensuring an adequate level of care for women affected by COVID-19 infection during pregnancy, delivery and during postpartum period, as well as their newborns.
The balance between avoiding severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 contagion and reducing wider clinical risk is unclear for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) testing. Recent recommendations promote diagnostic approaches that limit collection but increase undiagnosed GDM, which potentially increases adverse pregnancy outcome risks. The most sensitive approach to detecting GDM at 24-28 weeks beyond the two-hour oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) is a one-hour OGTT (88% sensitivity). Less sensitive approaches use fasting glucose alone (≥5.1 mmol/L: misses 44-54% GDM) or asking ~20% of women for a second visit (fasting glucose 4.7-5.0 mmol/L (62-72% sensitive)). Choices should emphasise local and patient decision-making.
Background: Since its emergence in December 2019, COVID-19 has spread to over 210 countries, with an estimated mortality rate of 3-4%. Little is understood about its effects during pregnancy.
Aims: To describe the current understanding of COVID-19 illness in pregnant women, to describe obstetric outcomes and to identify gaps in the existing knowledge.
Methods: Medline Ovid, EMBASE, World Health Organization COVID-19 research database and Cochrane COVID-19 in pregnancy spreadsheet were accessed on 18/4, 18/5 and 23/5 2020. Articles were screened via Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. The following were excluded: reviews, opinion pieces, guidelines, articles pertaining solely to other viruses, single case reports.
Results: Sixty articles were included in this review. Some pregnant participants may have been included in multiple publications, as admission dates overlap for reports from the same hospital. However, a total of 1287 confirmed SARS-CoV-2 positive pregnant cases are reported. Where universal testing was undertaken, asymptomatic infection occurred in 43.5-92% of cases. In the cohort studies, severe and critical COVID-19 illness rates approximated those of the non-pregnant population. Eight maternal deaths, six neonatal deaths, seven stillbirths and five miscarriages were reported. Thirteen neonates were SARS-CoV-2 positive, confirmed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction of nasopharyngeal swabs.
Conclusions: Where universal screening was conducted, SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnancy was often asymptomatic. Severe and critical disease rates approximate those in the general population. Vertical transmission is possible; however, it is unclear whether SARS-CoV-2 positive neonates were infected in utero, intrapartum or postpartum. Future work should assess risks of congenital syndromes and adverse perinatal outcomes where infection occurs in early and mid-pregnancy.
Aim: To clarify the status of personal protective equipment (PPE) and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) tests for pregnant women, we conducted an urgent survey.
Methods: The survey was conducted online from April 27 to May 1, 2020. Questionnaires were sent to core facilities and affiliated hospitals of the obstetrics and gynecology training program and to hospitals of the national perinatal medical liaison council.
Results: A total of 296 institutions participated in our survey; however, 2 institutions were excluded. Full PPE was used by doctors in 7.1% of facilities and by midwives in 6.8%. Our study also determined that around 65.0% of facilities for doctors and 73.5% of facilities for midwives used PPE beyond the "standard gown or apron, surgical mask, goggles or face shield" during labor of asymptomatic women. N95 masks were running out of stock at 6.5% of the facilities and goggles and face shields at 2.7%. Disposable N95 masks and goggles or face shields were re-used after re-sterilization in 12% and 14% of facilities, respectively. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing of asymptomatic patients was performed for 9% of vaginal deliveries, 14% of planned cesarean sections and 17% of emergency cesarean sections. The number of PCR tests for obstetrics and gynecology per a week ranged from zero to five in 92% of facilities.
Conclusion: The shortage of PPE in Japan is alarming. Sufficient stockpiling of PPE is necessary to prevent unnecessary disruptions in medical care. Appropriate guidelines for PPE usage and COVID-19 testing of pregnant women at delivery are needed in Japan.
The outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (SARS-CoV-2) has resulted in a major epidemic threat worldwide. However, the effects of neoviruses on infected pregnant women and especially on their fetuses and newborns are not well understood. Most up-to-date evidences about how SARS-CoV-2 affected patients especially in pregnancy were collected by conducting a comprehensive search of medical literature electronic databases. Immune-related data of pregnant women, fetuses and newborns were further analysis. According to the limited literature, SARS-CoV-2 utilizes angiotensin converting enzyme 2 as its receptor and causes severe hypoxemia. Insufficiency of angiotensin converting enzyme 2 in pregnant women and the effects of hypoxia on the placental oxygen supply will cause severe perinatal complications. In addition, SARS-CoV-2 infection may disrupt maternal-fetal immune tolerance and cause immunological damage to embryos. Because of these reasons, pregnancy complications such as fetal demise or premature birth, preeclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction, respiratory dyspnea, nervous system dysplasia and immune system defects are likely to occur in pregnant women with COVID-19 or their newborns. Pregnant women infected with SARS-CoV-2 should be treated as a special group and given special attention. Fetuses and newborns of SARS-CoV-2-infected pregnant women should be given more protection to reduce the occurrence of adverse events. In this review, we intend to provide an overview of the physiological and immunological changes that induce the pregnancy complications. This article will benefit the treatment and prognosis of fetuses and newborns of SARS-CoV-2-infected pregnant women.
At the end of 2019, a new coronavirus disease, COVID-19, emerged and quickly spread around the world. Severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative virus of this disease, belongs to the β-coronavirus family, together with SARS and middle east respiratory syndrome, and has similar biological characteristics to these viruses. For obstetricians, the susceptibility and prognoses of pregnant women and the effects of the infection on the fetus have been the focus of attention; however, at present, the seriousness of the disease in pregnant women is not apparent, and COVID-19 does not increase the rate of miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm labor or teratogenicity. Even so, carriers might transmit SARS-CoV-2 to pregnant women. Thus, we must keep in mind that all medical personnel must understand and maintain standard precautions in their clinical and laboratory practices.
The corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic sweeping across the world has severely strained health care resources (equipment and personnel) forcing us to rethink strategies to provide obstetric care while judiciously using resources. We describe the anaesthetic management of a mildly symptomatic, COVID-19 positive, 28-year-old second gravida with term pregnancy who was taken up for an elective caesarean section under subarachnoid block in a standalone maternity facility. Challenges encountered and modifications of standard procedures so as to optimize patient care and minimize exposure of health care professionals are also discussed.
The COVID-19 pandemic is currently causing widespread infection and deaths around the world. Since the identification of the first case in Nigeria in February 2020, the number of confirmed cases has risen to over 9,800. Although pregnant women are not necessarily more susceptible to infection by the virus, changes to their immune system in pregnancy may be associated with more severe symptoms. Adverse maternal and perinatal outcomes have been reported among pregnant women with COVID-19 infection. However, literature is scarce on the peripartum management and pregnancy outcome of a pregnant woman with COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa. We report the first successful and uncomplicated caesarean delivery of a pregnant woman with COVID-19 infection in Nigeria.
In any given year, approximately 130 million babies are born worldwide. Previous research has shown that pregnant women may be more severely affected and vulnerable to contracting emerging infections, making them a particularly high-risk population. Therefore, special considerations should be given to treatment methods for pregnant women with COVID-19. In this narrative review, the authors evaluate scholarly journal articles and electronic databases to determine what is known about the pathophysiology of COVID-19 in pregnancy and the associated mortality rate. Osteopathic manipulative treatment techniques to mitigate the underlying pathology were identified, and modifications for use in pregnancy and the critical care setting are described.
Limited data are available on pregnant women with COVID-19 and their neonates. We aimed to evaluate the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of newborns born to women infected with COVID-19. A multicenter cohort study was conducted among newborns born to mothers with COVID-19 in 34 neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) in Turkey. Pregnant women (n = 125) who had a positive RT-PCR test and their newborns were enrolled. Cesarean section, prematurity, and low-birthweight infant rates were 71.2%, 26.4%, and 12.8%, respectively. Eight of 125 mothers (6.4%) were admitted to an intensive care unit for mechanical ventilation, among whom six died (4.8%). Majority of the newborns (86.4%) were followed in isolation rooms in the NICU. Four of 120 newborns (3.3%) had a positive RT-PCR test result. Although samples taken on the first day were negative, one neonate became positive on the second day and the other two on the fifth day. Sample from deep tracheal aspirate was positive on the first day in an intubated case.Conclusion: COVID-19 in pregnant women has important impacts on perinatal and neonatal outcomes. Maternal mortality, higher rates of preterm birth and cesarean section, suspected risk of vertical transmission, and low rate of breastfeeding show that family support should be a part of the care in the NICU.Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT04401540 What is Known:
The provision of safe obstetric anaesthesia services is essential during the COVID-19 global outbreak. The identification of the 'high-infection risk' parturient can be challenging especially with the rapidly changing risk criteria for COVID-19 'cases'. A multidisciplinary taskforce is required to review the infection control protocols and workflows for managing the parturient for labour analgesia and for caesarean section in order to minimize infection risk to healthcare staff and other parturients. A constant review of such processes is needed to enhance efficiency and to optimise use of finite resources. Good communication between health officials, institutional leadership and ground staff is essential for the dissemination of information.
We report a 36-year-old woman in Iran who sought care for left shoulder pain and cough 5 days after a scheduled cesarean section. Acute pulmonary embolism and coronavirus disease were diagnosed. Physicians should be aware of the potential for these concurrent conditions in postpartum women.
Objective: The aim of this study is to summarize currently available evidence on vertical transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
Study design: A systematic review was conducted following the guidelines of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis Statement.
Results: A total of 22 studies comprising 83 neonates born to mothers diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019 were included in the present systematic review. Among these neonates, three were confirmed with SARS-CoV-2 infection at 16, 36, and 72 hours after birth, respectively, by nasopharyngeal swab real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests; another six had elevated virus-specific antibody levels in serum samples collected after birth, but negative RT-PCR test results. However, without positive RT-PCR tests of amniotic fluid, placenta, or cord blood, there is a lack of virologic evidence for intrauterine vertical transmission.
Conclusion: There is currently no direct evidence to support intrauterine vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Additional RT-PCR tests on amniotic fluid, placenta, and cord blood are needed to ascertain the possibility of intrauterine vertical transmission. For pregnant women infected during their first and second trimesters, further studies focusing on long-term outcomes are needed.
An outbreak of novel coronavirus pneumonia occurred worldwide since December 2019, which had been named COVID-19 subsequently. It is extremely transmissive that infection in pregnant women were unavoidable. The delivery process will produce large amount of contaminated media, leaving a challenge for medical personnel to ensure both the safety of the mother and infant and good self-protection. Only rare cases of pregnant women with COVID-19 are available for reference. Here, we report a 30-year-old woman had reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction-confirmed COVID-19 at 36 weeks 2 days of gestation. Significant low and high variability of fetal heart rate baseline and severe variable decelerations were repeated after admission. An emergency cesarean section at 37 weeks 1 day of gestation under combined spinal and epidural anesthesia was performed with strict protection for all personnel. Anesthesia and operation went uneventfully. None of the participants were infected. We can conclude that when confronted with cesarean section in parturient with COVID-19, careful planning and detailed preparation can improve the safety of the mother and infant and reduce the risk of infection for medical staff to help preventing and controlling the epidemic.
Objective: This study aimed to report a case series of pregnant women in New York City with confirmed or presumed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection.
Study design: Beginning March 22, 2020, all pregnant women from one large obstetrical practice in New York City were contacted regularly to inquire about symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, malaise, anosmia), or sick contacts. A running log was kept of these patients, as well as all patients who underwent COVID-19 testing. For this report, we included every patient with suspected COVID-19 infection, which was defined as at least two symptoms, or a positive COVID-19 nasopharyngeal polymerase chain reaction test.
Results: From March 22, 2020 until April 30, 2020, 757 pregnant women in our practice were evaluated and 92 had known or suspected COVID-19 (12.2%, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 10.0-14.7%). Of these 92 women, 33 (36%) had positive COVID-19 test results. Only one woman required hospital admission for 5 days due to COVID-19 (1.1%, 95% CI: 0.2-5.9%). One other woman received home oxygen. No women required mechanical ventilation and there were no maternal deaths. One woman had an unexplained fetal demise at 14 weeks' gestation around the time of her COVID-19 symptoms. Twenty one of the 92 women have delivered, and all were uncomplicated.
Conclusions: Among 92 women with confirmed or presumed COVID-19, the overall morbidity was low. These preliminary results are encouraging for pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic is an extraordinary global situation, and all countries have adopted their own strategies to diminish and eliminate the spread of the virus. All measures are in line with the recommendations provided by the World Health Organization. Scientific societies, such as the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology and American Society for Reproductive Medicine, have provided recommendations and guidance to overcome and flatten the growing curve of infection in patients who undergo IVF treatments. Although there is as yet no evidence that the virus causing COVID-19 might have negative effects on IVF outcomes, fertility treatments have been postponed in order to support healthcare systems by avoiding placing them under additional stress. The possibility of the virus affecting sperm function and egg performance cannot be excluded. In addition, an indirect effect of the virus on gametes and embryos during their manipulation cannot be ruled out. This commentary aims to provide some ideas on the possible effect of the virus on gametes and embryos, as well as how it could affect the normal functioning of the embryology laboratory.
Objective: This study aimed to (1) determine to what degree prenatal care was able to be transitioned to telehealth at prenatal practices associated with two affiliated hospitals in New York City during the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and (2) describe providers' experience with this transition.
Study design: Trends in whether prenatal care visits were conducted in-person or via telehealth were analyzed by week for a 5-week period from March 9 to April 12 at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC)-affiliated prenatal practices in New York City during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visits were analyzed for maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) and general obstetrical faculty practices, as well as a clinic system serving patients with public insurance. The proportion of visits that were telehealth was analyzed by visit type by week. A survey and semistructured interviews of providers were conducted evaluating resources and obstacles in the uptake of telehealth.
Results: During the study period, there were 4,248 visits, of which approximately one-third were performed by telehealth (n = 1,352, 31.8%). By the fifth week, 56.1% of generalist visits, 61.5% of MFM visits, and 41.5% of clinic visits were performed via telehealth. A total of 36 providers completed the survey and 11 were interviewed. Accessing technology and performing visits, documentation, and follow-up using the telehealth electronic medical record were all viewed favorably by providers. In transitioning to telehealth, operational challenges were more significant for health clinics than for MFM and generalist faculty practices with patients receiving public insurance experiencing greater difficulties and barriers to care. Additional resources on the patient and operational level were required to optimize attendance at in-person and video visits for clinic patients.
Conclusion: Telehealth was rapidly implemented in the setting of the COVID-19 pandemic and was viewed favorably by providers. Limited barriers to care were observed for practices serving patients with commercial insurance. However, to optimize access for patients with Medicaid, additional patient-level and operational supports were required.
Objective: Since its emergence in late 2019, severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), the novel coronavirus that causes novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has spread globally. Within the United States, some of the most affected regions have been New York, and Northern New Jersey. Our objective is to describe the impact of COVID-19 in a large delivery service in Northern New Jersey, including its effects on labor and delivery (L&D), the newborn nursery, and the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Materials and methods:Between April 21, 2020 and May 5, 2020, a total of 78 mothers (3.6% of deliveries) were identified by screening history or examination to either be COVID-19 positive or possible positives (persons under investigation). Of the mothers who were tested after admission to L&D, 28% tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.
Discussion: Isolation between mother and infant was recommended in 62 cases, either because the mother was positive for SARS-CoV-2 or because the test was still pending. Fifty-four families (87%) agreed to isolation and separation. The majority of infants, 51 (94%), were initially isolated on the newborn nursery. Six needed NICU admission. No infants had clinical evidence of symptomatic COVID-19 infection. Fourteen infants whose mothers were positive for SARS-CoV-2, and who had been separated from the mother at birth were tested for SARS-CoV-2 postnatally. All were negative.
Results: COVID-19 posed a significant burden to mothers, infants, and staff over the 5-week study period. The yield from screening mothers for COVID-19 on L&D was high. Most families accepted the need for postnatal isolation and separation of mother and newborn. Conclusion: Our study suggests that the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from mother to her fetus/newborn seems to be uncommon if appropriate separation measures are performed at birth.
Objective: The health care system has been struggling to find the optimal way to protect patients and staff from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Our objective was to evaluate the impact of two strategies on transmission of COVID-19 to health care workers (HCW) on labor and delivery (L&D).
Study design: We developed a decision analytic model comparing universal COVID-19 screening and universal PPE on L&D. Probabilities and costs were derived from the literature. We used individual models to evaluate different scenarios including spontaneous labor, induced labor, and planned cesarean delivery (CD). The primary outcome was the cost to prevent COVID-19 infection in one HCW. A cost-effectiveness threshold was set at $25,000 to prevent a single infection in an HCW.
Results: In the base case using a COVID-19 prevalence of 0.36% (the rate in the United States at the time), universal screening is the preferred strategy because while universal PPE is more effective at preventing COVID-19 transmission, it is also more costly, costing $4,175,229 and $3,413,251 to prevent one infection in the setting of spontaneous and induced labor, respectively. For planned CD, universal PPE is cost saving. The model is sensitive to variations in the prevalence of COVID-19 and the cost of PPE. Universal PPE becomes cost-effective at a COVID-19 prevalence of 34.3 and 29.5% and at a PPE cost of $512.62 and $463.20 for spontaneous and induced labor, respectively. At a higher cost-effectiveness threshold, the prevalence of COVID-19 can be lower for universal PPE to become cost-effective.
Conclusion: Universal COVID-19 screening is generally the preferred option. However, in locations with high COVID-19 prevalence or where the local societal cost of one HCW being unavailable is the highest such as in rural areas, universal PPE may be cost-effective and preferred. This model may help to provide guidance regarding allocation of resources on L&D during these current and future pandemics.
Pregnant patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, the virus responsible for the clinical condition newly described in 2019 as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and illness severity to warrant intensive care have a complex disease process that must involve multiple disciplines. Guidelines from various clinical societies, along with direction from local health authorities, must be considered when approaching the care of an obstetric patient with known or suspected COVID-19. With a rapidly changing landscape, a simplified and cohesive perspective using guidance from different clinical society recommendations regarding the critically-ill obstetric patient with COVID-19 is needed. In this article, we synthesize various high-level guidelines of clinical relevance in the management of pregnant patients with severe disease or critical illness due to COVID-19. KEY POINTS: · When caring for severely ill obstetric patients with COVID-19, one must be well versed in the complications that may need to be managed including, but not limited to adult respiratory distress syndrome with need for mechanical ventilation, approach to refractory hypoxemia, hemodynamic shock, and multiorgan system failure.. · Prone positioning can be done safely in gravid patients but requires key areas of support to avoid abdominal compression.. · For the critically ill obstetric patient with COVID-19, the focus should be on supportive care as a bridge to recovery rather than delivery as a solution to recovery..
Both coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and maternal mortality disproportionately affect minorities. However, direct viral infection is not the only way that the former can affect the latter. Most adverse maternal events that end in hospitals have their genesis upstream in communities. Hospitals often represent a last opportunity to reverse a process that begins at a remove in space and time. The COVID-19 pandemic did not create these upstream injuries, but it has brought them to national attention, exacerbated them, and highlighted the need for health care providers to move out of the footprint of their institutions. The breach between community events that seed morbidity and hospitals that attempt rescues has grown in recent years, as the gap between rich and poor has grown and as maternity services in minority communities have closed. COVID-19 has become yet another barrier. For example, professional organizations have recommended a reduced number of prenatal visits, and the platforms hospitals use to substitute for some of these visits are not helpful to people who either lack the technology or the safe space in which to have confidential conversations with providers. Despite these challenges, there are opportunities for departments of obstetrics and gynecology. Community-based organizations including legal professionals, health-home coordinators, and advocacy groups, surround almost every hospital, and can be willing partners with interested departments. COVID-19 has made it clearer than ever that it is time to step out of the footprint of our institutions, and to recognize that the need to find upstream opportunities to prevent downstream tragedies. KEY POINTS: · COVID-19 will exacerbate disparities in perinatal outcomes.. · The virus, per se, is not the pandemic's biggest threat to the health of minority women.. · The solution to maternal mortality cannot be found within the walls of hospitals..
Objective: Antenatal corticosteroids given prior to preterm deliveries reduce the risk of adverse neonatal outcomes. However, steroid administration in the setting of a viral respiratory infection can worsen maternal outcomes. Therefore, the decision to administer corticosteroids must balance the neonatal benefits with the potential harm to the mother if she is infected with the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This study aimed to determine the gestational ages for which administering antenatal corticosteroids to women at high risk of preterm labor with concurrent COVID-19 infection results in improved combined maternal and infant outcomes.
Study design: A decision-analytic model using TreeAge (2020) software was constructed for a theoretical cohort of hospitalized women with COVID-19 in the United States. All model inputs were derived from the literature. Outcomes included maternal intensive care unit (ICU) admission and death, along with infant outcomes of death, respiratory distress syndrome, intraventricular hemorrhage, and neurodevelopmental delay. Quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) were assessed from the maternal and infant perspectives. Sensitivity analyses were performed to determine if the results were robust over a range of assumptions.
Results: In our theoretical cohort of 10,000 women delivering between 24 and 33 weeks of gestation with COVID-19, corticosteroid administration resulted in 2,200 women admitted to the ICU and 110 maternal deaths. No antenatal corticosteroid use resulted in 1,500 ICU admissions and 75 maternal deaths. Overall, we found that corticosteroid administration resulted in higher combined QALYs up to 31 weeks of gestation in all hospitalized patients, and up to 29 weeks of gestation in ICU patients.
Conclusion: Administration of antenatal corticosteroids at less than 32 weeks of gestation for hospitalized patients and less than 30 weeks of gestation for patients admitted to the ICU resulted in higher combined maternal and infant outcomes compared with expectant management for women at high risk of preterm birth with COVID-19 infection. These results can guide clinicians in their counseling and management of these pregnant women.
Management of severe acute respiratory Syndrome corona virus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infected pregnant women at time of delivery presents a unique challenge. The variability in the timing and the method of delivery, ranging from normal vaginal delivery to an emergent cesarean section, adds complexity to the role of the health care providers in the medical care of the patient and in the interactions, they have with other providers. These variations are further influenced by the availability of isolation rooms in the facility and adequacy of personal protective equipment. The protocols already set in place can be further challenged when the facility reaches its capacity to manage the patients.To fulfill the goal of providing adequate management to the SARS-CoV-2 infected pregnant women and their infants, avoid variation from suggested guidelines, and decrease risk of exposure of the health care workers, the health care provider team needs to review the variations regularly. While familiarity can be achieved by reviewing the guidelines, clinical case simulations provide a more hands-on approach.Using case-based simulations and current guidance from the Center for Disease Control, American Academy of Pediatrics, and recent reviews, we discuss a management guideline developed at our institution to facilitate provision of care to SARS-CoV-2 infected pregnant women during delivery and to their infants, while protecting health care providers from exposure, and in keeping with the local facility logistics. KEY POINTS: · Simulation of delivery of SARS-CoV-2 positive pregnant women can minimize the risk of exposure to healthcare professionals.. · Four common scenarios of delivery as described can be adapted for the evolving guidelines for the management of SARS-CoV-2 positive pregnant women.. · Integrating simulations of management of SARS-CoV-2 positive pregnant women is feasible in daily clinical routine..
The intricacy of the maternal immune system arises from its ability to prevent a maternal immune response against a semi-allogenic fetus, while protecting the mother against harmful pathogens. However, these immunological adaptations may also make pregnant women vulnerable to developing adverse complications from respiratory viral infections. While the influenza and SARS pandemics support this theory, there is less certainty regarding the clinical impact of SARS-CoV-2 in pregnancy. In the current COVID-19 pandemic, vaccine development is key to public preventative strategies. Whilst most viral vaccines are able to induce a seroprotective antibody response, in some high-risk individuals this may not correlate with clinical protection. Some studies have shown that factors such as age, gender, and chronic illnesses can reduce their effectiveness and in this review, we discuss how pregnancy may affect the efficacy and immunogenicity of vaccines. We present literature to support the hypothesis that pregnant women are more susceptible to respiratory viral infections and may not respond to vaccines as effectively. In particular, we focus on the clinical implications of important respiratory viral infections such as influenza during pregnancy, and the pregnancy induced alterations in important leukocytes such as TFH, cTFH and B cells, which play an important role in generating long-lasting and high-affinity antibodies. Finally, we review how this may affect the efficacy of vaccines against influenza in pregnancy and highlight areas that require further research.
Background: The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is the most challenging health crisis that we are facing today. Against the backdrop of this pandemic, it becomes imperative to study the effects of this infection on pregnancy and its outcome. Hence, the present study was undertaken to evaluate the effects of COVID-19 infection on the maternal morbidity and mortality, the course of labour as well as the neonatal outcome.
Materials and methods: A total of 977 pregnant women were included in the study, from 1st April to 15th May 2020 at a tertiary care hospital. There were 141 women who tested COVID positive and remaining 836 patients were included in the COVID negative group. Findings were compared in both the groups.
Results: The incidence of COVID positive pregnant women was found to be 14.43%. More patients delivered by LSCS in the COVID positive and the COVID negative group (50%) as compared to COVID negative group (47%), (p > 0.05). Low APGAR score (0-3) was observed in 2(1.52%) neonates of COVID positive mothers and in 15 (1.91%) neonates of COVID negative mothers. Overall most of the babies were healthy. Out of all babies tested, 3 were detected positive initially which were retested on day 5 and were found to be negative.
Conclusion: There is no significant effect of COVID infection on maternal and foetal outcome in pregnancy and there is no evidence of vertical transmission of the COVID-19 infection but long-term follow-up of these babies is recommended.
The encounter with the rampant novel Corona virus infection has led the healthcare system across the world to update and modify its tools to fight this pandemic. Pregnancy, childbirth and breast feeding are a set of special situations to be dealt in women afflicted with Covid-19. Currently there is no universal consensus on managing the issue of breast feeding with rooming-in of the neonates in women with suspected or confirmed Covid-19. Literature is still evolving with contradictory guidelines from various authorities across the globe. This review intends to analyse the available evidence on managing breast feeding in such women and to derive a practically plausible approach in handling such situations.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has become a globally concerning pandemic having affected more than 5 million people worldwide. The disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is highly contagious. Only limited literature exists on the evaluation and management of pregnant women with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. In this short commentary, we inform the readers of the potential role of chest CT in symptomatic COVID-19 pregnant women and the related limitations.
Background/purpose of study: In view of restrictions on patients because of COVID-19 pandemic, face-to-face consultations are difficult. This short commentary tells us about the feasibility of telemedicine in this scenario in obstetrics and gynaecology.
Methods: The database from our teleconsultation application (Apollo 247 and Askapollo) was analysed to assess feasibility of telemedicine and to design a triage pathway to reduce hospital visits for non-emergency situations and also to identify emergency cases without delay during this lockdown phase. Existing guidelines by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW), Government of India, were accessed.
Results: This was a single-doctor experience of 375 consultations done over 65 days. We also designed a triage pathway for obstetrics and gynaecology cases, and we discussed general practice for obstetricians and gynaecologists with its utility and limitations.
Conclusion: Telemedicine has provided us the opportunity to manage women health problems and pregnancy concerns during this pandemic of COVID-19, except a few instances where face-to-face consultation or hospital visit is must. If we implement the triage pathway, we can minimize the risk of exposure for both patients and healthcare teams during COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 in a complex obstetric patient with cystic fibrosis. Walczak A et al. Infect Dis Health. 2020 Jul 23:S2468-0451(20)30050-X.
Objective: To investigate the rate of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) positivity in asymptomatic pregnant women admitted to hospital for delivery in a Turkish pandemic center.
Study design: This prospective cohort study was conducted in Ankara City Hospital between April, 15, 2020 and June, 5, 2020. A total of 206 asymptomatic pregnant women (103 low-risk pregnant women without any defined risk factor and 103 high-risk pregnant women) were screened for SARS-CoV-2 positivity upon admission to hospital for delivery. Detection of SARS-CoV2 in nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal samples was performed by Real Time Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) method targeting RdRp (RNA dependent RNA polymerase) gene. Two groups were compared in terms of demographic features, clinical characteristics and SARS-CoV-2 positivity.
Results: Three of the 206 pregnant women participating in the study had positive RT-PCR tests (1.4 %) and all positive cases were in the high-risk pregnancy group. Although, one case in the high-risk pregnancy group had developed symptoms highly suspicious for COVID-19, two repeated RT-PCR tests were negative. SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR positivity rate was significantly higher in the high-risk pregnancy group (2.9 % vs 0%, p = 0.04).
Conclusion: Healthcare professionals should be cautious in the labor and delivery of high-risk pregnant women during the pandemic period and universal testing for COVID-19 may be considered in selected populations.
Background: The coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has become the most challenging issue for healthcare organizations and governments all over the world. The lack of evidence-based data on the management of COVID-19 infection during pregnancy causes an additional stress for obstetrics healthcare providers (HCPs). Therefore, this study was undertaken to evaluate depression, perceived social support, and quality of life among obstetrics HCPs.
Materials and methods: This cross-sectional multicenter study was conducted in eight cities in Iran. During the study period, 599 HCPs were separated into direct, no direct, and unknown contact groups according to their exposure to COVID-19-infected pregnant patients. The Patient Health Questionaire-9 (PHQ-9), Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS), and Short Form-36 (SF-36) were used to assess depression, perceived social support, and quality of life.
Results: Obstetrics and gynecology specialists had significantly higher social functioning and general health scores compared to other HCPs (residents/students or nurses/midwives). Depression was negatively correlated with most of the domains of quality of life, regardless of the COVID-19 contact status of the study participants. Social support, however, was positively correlated with some domains of quality of life, such as physical functioning, energy/fatigue, and emotional well-being, among staff members who had either direct contact or no contact with COVID-19 patients.
Conclusion: During the COVID-19 outbreak, the depression score among obstetrics HCPs was negatively associated with quality of life. Social support, however, had a reinforcing effect on quality of life.
This review highlights the clinical and epidemiologic characteristics of COVID-19 in children and neonates and contrasts these features with other common respiratory viruses. Although the majority of infections in children are mild, there are many important, as yet, unanswered questions (specifically, the attack rate in children and the role of children as vectors of infection), that will have a major impact on disease in adults. There are no distinctive clinical characteristics that will allow the infectious disease consultant to make the diagnosis without laboratory testing. SARS-CoV-2 appears to be less common with lower morbidity and mortality than RSV or influenza and causes less severe disease in children with cancer than these more common viruses. The range of severity of infection during pregnancy is comparable to infection in non-pregnant cohorts. Intrauterine infection has been documented but is uncommon. A theme of less severe disease in individuals with modulated immune systems is emerging.
Objective: To provide a descriptive account of the challenges and administrative preparedness for establishing and sustaining safe obstetric services during the COVID-19 pandemic at Topiwala National Medical College & BYL Nair Charitable Hospital (NH), Mumbai, India.
Methods: The management of pregnant women with COVID-19 was implemented as per international (WHO, RCOG, ACOG) and national (Indian Council of Medical Research) recommendations and guidelines at an academic, tertiary care, COVID-19 hospital in India.
Results: Using a multidisciplinary approach and active engagement of a multispecialty team, obstetric services were provided to over 400 women with laboratory-confirm-ed COVID-19. A sustainable model is established for providing services to pregnant women with COVID-19 in Mumbai Metropolitan Region, India.
Conclusion: With limited resources, it is possible to set up dedicated maternity services, aligned to international guidelines, for safe pregnancy outcomes in COVID-19 settings. This COVID-19 hospital addressed the challenges and implemented several known and novel methods to establish and sustain obstetric services for women with COVID-19. The model established in the present study can be replicated in other low- and middle-income countries.
Since its emergence in Wuhan as a novel coronavirus disease, it has taken only a few months since January 2020 for it to be recognized as a wide spread COVID-19 pandemic which has contributed to global health devastation. As pointed out by health experts, it is a once in a century pandemic of our times. Clinical observations so far indicate that the older population and immune compromised individuals, particularly in African American and Hispanic/Latino communities, are at much higher risk for infection with this novel coronavirus. In this regard, pregnancy offers an altered immunity scenario which may allow severe COVID-19 disease. The literature is so far highly conflicting on this issue. This review will offer a conceptual basis for severe or controlled disease and address trepidations for pregnant women associated with COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the comparative context of clinical consequences of other coronaviruses such as SARS and MERS. We will highlight the possible consequences of COVID -19 on the general health of pregnant women as well as its possible effects at the maternal-fetal interface. For the placenta-related pathology, we will focus our discussion on the temporal expression of ACE2 throughout gestation for possible propagation of SARS-CoV-2 in the placenta in infected women and ensuing consequences.
In spite of the increasing, accumulating knowledge on the novel pandemic coronavirus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), questions on the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) infection transmission from mothers to fetuses or neonates during pregnancy and peripartum period remain pending and have not been addressed so far. SARS-CoV-2, a RNA single-stranded virus, has been detected in the amniotic fluid, in the cord blood and in the placentas of the infected women. In the light of these findings, the theoretical risk of intrauterine infection for fetuses, or of peripartum infection occurring during delivery for neonates, has a biological plausibility. The extent of this putative risk might, however, vary during the different stages of pregnancy, owing to several variables (physiological modifications of the placenta, virus receptors' expression, or delivery route). This brief review provides an overview of the current evidence in this area. Further data, based on national and international multicenter registries, are needed not only to clearly assess the extent of the risk for vertical transmission, but also to ultimately establish solid guidelines and consistent recommendations. KEY POINTS: • Questions on the COVID-19 infection transmission from mothers to fetuses or neonates during pregnancy and peripartum period remain pending so far.. • The theoretical risk of intrauterine infection for fetuses, or of neonatal infection during delivery for neonates, has a biological plausibility.. • A caution is recommended in the interpretation of clinical and laboratory data in neonates..
Vertical transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and possible induction of pregnancy complications, including miscarriage, fetal malformations, fetal growth restriction and/or stillbirth, are serious concerns for pregnant individuals with COVID-19. According to clinical information, the incidence of vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is limited to date. However, even if a neonate tests negative for SARS-CoV-2, frequent abnormal findings, including fetal and maternal vascular malperfusion, have been reported in cases of COVID-19-positive mothers. Primary receptor of SARS-CoV-2 is estimated as angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). It is highly expressed in maternal-fetal interface cells, such as syncytiotrophoblasts, cytotrophoblasts, endothelial cells, and the vascular smooth muscle cells of primary and secondary villi. However other route of transplacental infection cannot be ruled out. Pathological examinations have demonstrated that syncytiotrophoblasts are often infected with SARS-CoV-2, but fetuses are not always infected. These findings suggest the presence of a placental barrier, even if it is not completely effective. As the frequency and molecular mechanisms of intrauterine vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2 have not been determined to date, intensive clinical examinations by repeated ultrasound and fetal heart rate monitoring are strongly recommended for pregnant women infected with COVID-19. In addition, careful investigation of placental samples after delivery by both morphological and molecular methods is also strongly recommended.
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) can frequently occur as a complication of Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19). As the number of COVID-19 cases increases around the world, it is inevitable that COVID-19 and ARDS will complicate some pregnancies. Currently, there is scant data to guide decision-making on the timing of delivery for these patients. We present the case of a 41-year-old patient with severe ARDS from COVID-19 who was also 32 weeks pregnant, whose respiratory status improved dramatically after delivery.
The global pandemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the cause of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has been associated with worse outcomes in several patient populations, including the elderly and those with chronic comorbidities. Data from previous pandemics and seasonal influenza suggest that pregnant women may be at increased risk for infection-associated morbidity and mortality. Physiologic changes in normal pregnancy and metabolic and vascular changes in high-risk pregnancies may affect the pathogenesis or exacerbate the clinical presentation of COVID-19. Specifically, SARS-CoV-2 enters the cell via the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor, which is upregulated in normal pregnancy. Upregulation of ACE2 mediates conversion of angiotensin II (vasoconstrictor) to angiotensin-(1-7) (vasodilator) and contributes to relatively low blood pressures, despite upregulation of other components of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. As a result of higher ACE2 expression, pregnant women may be at elevated risk for complications from SARS-CoV-2 infection. Upon binding to ACE2, SARS-CoV-2 causes its downregulation, thus lowering angiotensin-(1-7) levels, which can mimic/worsen the vasoconstriction, inflammation, and pro-coagulopathic effects that occur in preeclampsia. Indeed, early reports suggest that, among other adverse outcomes, preeclampsia may be more common in pregnant women with COVID-19. Medical therapy, during pregnancy and breastfeeding, relies on medications with proven safety, but safety data are often missing for medications in the early stages of clinical trials. We summarize guidelines for medical/obstetric care and outline future directions for optimization of treatment and preventive strategies for pregnant patients with COVID-19 with the understanding that relevant data are limited and rapidly changing.
Objective: Higher rates of mental disorders, specifically depression, were found among affected people in previous epidemiological studies taken after disasters. The aim of the current study was to assess risk for depression among pregnant women hospitalized during the "coronavirus disease 2019" (COVID-19) pandemic, as compared to women hospitalized before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Study design: A cross-sectional study was performed among women hospitalized in the high-risk pregnancy units of the Soroka University Medical Center (SUMC). All participating women completed the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), and the results were compared between women hospitalized during the COVID-19 strict isolation period (19 March 2020 and 26 May 2020) and women hospitalized before the COVID-19 pandemic. Multivariable logistic regression models were constructed to control for potential confounders.
Results: Women hospitalized during the COVID-19 strict isolation period (n = 84) had a comparable risk of having a high (>10) EPDS score as compared to women hospitalized before the COVID-19 pandemic (n = 279; 25.0% vs. 29.0%, p = 0.498). These results remained similar in the multivariable logistic regression model, while controlling for maternal age, ethnicity and known mood disorder (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 1.0, 95% CI 0.52-1.93, p = 0.985).
Conclusion: Women hospitalized at the high-risk pregnancy unit during the COVID-19 strict isolation period were not at increased risk for depression, as compared to women hospitalized before the COVID-19 pandemic.
While initially recognized as causing respiratory disease, the SARS-CoV-2 virus also affects many other organs leading to other complications. It has emerged that advanced age and obesity are risk factors for complications but questions concerning the potential effects on fetal health and successful pregnancy for those infected with SARS-CoV-2 remain largely unanswered. Here, we examine human pre-gastrulation embryos to determine the expression patterns of the genes ACE2, encoding the SARS-CoV-2 receptor, and TMPRSS2, encoding a protease that cleaves both the viral spike protein and the ACE2 receptor to facilitate infection. We show expression and co-expression of these genes in the trophoblast of the blastocyst and syncytiotrophoblast and hypoblast of the implantation stages, which develop into tissues that interact with the maternal blood supply for nutrient exchange. Expression of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 in these tissues raises the possibility for vertical transmission and indicates that further work is required to understand potential risks to implantation, placental health and fetal health that require further study.
Background: The recent COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China, has quickly spread throughout the world. In this study, we systematically reviewed the clinical features and outcomes of pregnant women with COVID-19.
Methods: PubMed, Web of Science, EMBASE and MEDLINE were searched from January 1, 2020, to April 16, 2020. Case reports and case series of pregnant women infected with SARS-CoV-2 were included. Two reviewers screened 366 studies and 14 studies were included. Four reviewers independently extracted the features from the studies. We used a random-effects model to analyse the incidence (P) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI). Heterogeneity was assessed using the I2 statistic.
Results: The meta-analysis included 236 pregnant women with COVID-19. The results were as follows: positive CT findings (71%; 95% CI, 0.49-0.93), caesarean section (65%; 95% CI, 0.42-0.87), fever (51%; 95% CI, 0.35-0.67), lymphopenia (49%; 95% CI, 0.29-0.70), coexisting disorders (33%; 95% CI, 0.21-0.44), cough (31%; 95% CI, 0.23-0.39), fetal distress (29%; 95% CI, 0.08-0.49), preterm labor (23%; 95% CI, 0.14-0.32), and severe case or death (12%; 95% CI, 0.03-0.20). The subgroup analysis showed that compared with non-pregnant patients, pregnant women with COVID-19 had significantly lower incidences of fever (pregnant women, 51%; non-pregnant patients, 91%; P < 0.00001) and cough (pregnant women, 31%; non-pregnant patients, 67%; P < 0.0001).
Conclusions: The incidences of fever, cough and positive CT findings in pregnant women with COVID-19 are less than those in the normal population with COVID-19, but the rate of preterm labor is higher among pregnant with COVID-19 than among normal pregnant women. There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 can spread through vertical transmission.
Background: The full impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy remains uncharacterized. Current literature suggests minimal maternal, fetal, and neonatal morbidity and mortality.1 COVID-19 manifestations appear similar between pregnant and non-pregnant women.2 OBJECTIVES/STUDY DESIGN: We present a case of placental SARS-CoV-2 virus in a woman with mild COVID-19 disease, then review the literature. RT-PCR was performed to detect SARS-CoV-2. Immunohistochemistry staining was performed with specific monoclonal antibodies to detect SARS-CoV-2 antigen or to identify trophoblasts.
Results: A 29 year-old multigravida presented at 40-4/7 weeks for labor induction. With myalgias two days prior, she tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. We demonstrate maternal vascular malperfusion, with no fetal vascular malperfusion, as well as SARS-CoV-2 virus in chorionic villi endothelial cells, and also rarely in trophoblasts.
Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first report of placental SARS-CoV-2 despite mild COVID-19 disease (no symptoms of COVID-19 aside from myalgias); patient had no fever, cough, or shortness of breath, but only myalgias and sick contacts. Despite her mild COVID-19 disease in pregnancy, we demonstrate placental vasculopathy and presence of SARS-CoV-2 virus across the placenta. Evidence of placental COVID-19 raises concern for placental vasculopathy (potentially leading to fetal growth restriction and other pregnancy complications) and possible vertical transmission - especially for pregnant women who may be exposed to COVID-19 in early pregnancy. This raises important questions of whether future pregnancy guidance should include stricter pandemic precautions, such as screening for a wider array of COVID-19 symptoms, increased antenatal surveillance, and possibly routine COVID-19 testing throughout pregnancy. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Aims: To evaluate the diagnostic and prognostic performance of alternative diagnostic strategies to oral glucose tolerance tests, including random plasma glucose, fasting plasma glucose and HbA1c , during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods: Retrospective service data (Cambridge, UK; 17 736 consecutive singleton pregnancies, 2004-2008; 826 consecutive gestational diabetes pregnancies, 2014-2019) and 361 women with ≥1 gestational diabetes risk factor (OPHELIA prospective observational study, UK) were included. Pregnancy outcomes included gestational diabetes (National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence or International Association of Diabetes and Pregnancy Study Groups criteria), diabetes in pregnancy (WHO criteria), Caesarean section, large-for-gestational age infant, neonatal hypoglycaemia and neonatal intensive care unit admission. Receiver-operating characteristic curves and unadjusted logistic regression were used to compare random plasma glucose, fasting plasma glucose and HbA1c performance.
Results: Gestational diabetes diagnosis was significantly associated with random plasma glucose at 12 weeks [area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve for both criteria 0.81 (95% CI 0.79-0.83)], fasting plasma glucose [National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence: area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve 0.75 (95% CI 0.65-0.85); International Association of Diabetes and Pregnancy Study Groups: area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve 0.92 (95% CI 0.85-0.98)] and HbA1c at 28 weeks' gestation [National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence: 0.83 (95% CI 0.75-0.90); International Association of Diabetes and Pregnancy Study Groups: 0.84 (95% CI 0.77-0.91)]. Each measure predicts some, but not all, pregnancy outcomes studied. At 12 weeks, ~5% of women would be identified using random plasma glucose ≥8.5 mmol/l (sensitivity 42%; specificity 96%) and at 28 weeks using HbA1c ≥39 mmol/mol (sensitivity 26%; specificity 96%) or fasting plasma glucose ≥5.2-5.4 mmol/l (sensitivity 18-41%; specificity 97-98%).
Conclusions: Random plasma glucose at 12 weeks, and fasting plasma glucose or HbA1c at 28 weeks identify women with hyperglycaemia at risk of suboptimal pregnancy outcomes. These opportunistic laboratory tests perform adequately for risk stratification when oral glucose tolerance testing is not available.
Although the number of clinical trials for patients with COVID-19 is increasing, many exclude pregnant women as participants or do not address pregnancy. This commentary discuss why pregnancy women should be included in clinical trials of interventions for COVID-19.
SARS-CoV-2 outbreak is the first pandemic of the century. SARS-CoV-2 infection is transmitted through droplets; other transmission routes are hypothesized but not confirmed. So far, it is unclear whether and how SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted from the mother to the fetus. We demonstrate the transplacental transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in a neonate born to a mother infected in the last trimester and presenting with neurological compromise. The transmission is confirmed by comprehensive virological and pathological investigations. In detail, SARS-CoV-2 causes: (1) maternal viremia, (2) placental infection demonstrated by immunohistochemistry and very high viral load; placental inflammation, as shown by histological examination and immunohistochemistry, and (3) neonatal viremia following placental infection. The neonate is studied clinically, through imaging, and followed up. The neonate presented with neurological manifestations, similar to those described in adult patients.
Aims: We assessed how altered diagnostic processes and criteria for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) recommended by the United Kingdom (UK), Canada and Australia for use during the COVID-19 pandemic would affect both GDM frequency and related adverse outcomes.
Methods: Secondary analysis of 5974 HAPO study women with singleton pregnancies who underwent 75g OGTTs and HbA1c assays between 24 and 32 weeks' gestation and who received no treatment for GDM.
Results: All post COVID-19 modified pathways reduced GDM frequency - UK (81%), Canada (82%) and Australia (25%). Canadian women whose GDM would remain undetected post COVID-19 (missed GDMs) displayed similar rates of pregnancy complications to those with post COVID-19 GDM. Using UK modifications, the missed GDM group were at slightly lower risk whilst the women missed using the Australian modifications were at substantially lower risk.
Conclusions: The modifications in GDM diagnosis proposed for the UK, Canada and Australia result in differing reductions of GDM frequency. Each has both potential benefits in terms of reduction in potential exposure to COVID-19 and costs in terms of missed opportunities to influence pregnancy and postpartum outcomes. These factors should be considered when deciding which protocol is most appropriate for a particular context.
Objective: We sought to conduct a systematic review of the current literature to determine estimates of vertical transmission of COVID-19 based upon early RNA detection of SARS-CoV-2 after birth from various neonatal/fetal sources and neonatal serology.
Data sources: Eligible studies published up to May 28, 2020 were retrieved from Pubmed, EMbase, MedRXiv, BioRXiv collection databases.
Study eligibility criteria: This systematic review included cohort studies, case series and case reports of pregnant women who had COVID-19 infection as confirmed by positive SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA testing, and had reported data regarding testing of neonates/fetuses for SARS-CoV-2 immediately after birth and up to within 48hrs of birth. In total, 30 eligible case reports describing 43 tested neonates, and 38 cohort/case series studies describing 936 tested neonates were included.Study appraisal and synthesis methods: The methodological quality of all included studies was evaluated by a modified Newcastle-Ottawa scale. Quantitative synthesis was performed on cohort/case series studies according to neonatal biological specimen site to reach pooled proportions of vertical transmission.
Results: Our quantitative synthesis revealed that of 936 neonates from COVID-19 infected mothers, 27 neonates had SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA positive nasopharyngeal swab, indicating a pooled proportion of 3.2% (95% CI 2.2-4.3%) for vertical transmission. Notably, the pooled proportion of SARS-CoV-2 positivity in neonates by nasopharyngeal swab in studies from China was 2.0% (8/397) which was similar to pooled proportion of 2.7% (14/517) in studies from outside of China. SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA testing in neonatal cord blood was positive in 2.9% (1/34) of samples, 7.7% (2/26) of placenta samples, 0% (0/51) of amniotic fluid and 0% (0/17) of urine samples and 9.7% (3/31) of fecal/rectal swabs. Neonatal serology was positive in 3/82 (3.7%) (based upon the presence of IgM).
Conclusion: Vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is possible and appears to occur in a minority of cases of maternal COVID-19 infection in third trimester. Rates of infection are similar to other pathogens that cause congenital infections. However, given the paucity of early trimester data, no assessment can yet be made regarding rates of vertical transmission in early pregnancy as well as potential risk for consequent fetal morbidity and mortality.
Since the outbreak of Coronavirus disease in December 2019, information specific to pregnancy remains limited and controversial. Based on data from previous reports, it has been noticed that contrary to prior pandemics such as SARS, MERS and H1N1 and although pregnancy is usually considered as a condition of high susceptibility to viral infections, new SARS-CoV2 infection seems to have a more benign clinical course when affecting pregnant women. We speculate that during pregnancy the physiological "silencing" of the Th1 pro-inflammatory response may blunt the cytokines storm which is thought to play a key-role in the pathogenesis of the severe complications of Covid-19.
Despite anticipated increased risk of COVID-19 and increased expression of the SARS CoV-2 receptor (ACE2), the relatively low mortality of pregnant women with COVID-19 has been an area of wonder. The immunological changes predominantly inclining to anti-inflammatory state, which is augmented by placental hormones' immune modulating action, looks against with COVID-19 inflammatory reaction leading to cytokine storm and multiple organ failure. Unlike many other viral infections, the bilateral immune activation of COVID-19 may preferentially make pregnant women at low risk. Taking the physiological advantage of pregnant women, potential clinical trials are proposed. Quite a large number of epidemiological and obstetrics related studies have addressed the cases of women with COVID-19. However, to the best of the author's knowledge, little is done to explore the physiological internal milieu of pregnant women in relation to COVID-19. This review provides an insight into how the hormonal and immunological changes in pregnancy potentially reduce SARS-CoV-2-mediated inflammatory response.
Coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak has a growing impact on global health; vertical transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection is still controversial. In this article, we describe a case of vertical transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in a newborn with respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms.
Congenital infection of SARS-CoV-2 appears to be exceptionally rare despite many cases of COVID-19 during pregnancy. Robust proof of placental infection requires demonstration of viral localization within placental tissue. Only two of the few cases of possible vertical transmission have demonstrated placental infection. None have shown placental expression of the ACE2 or TMPRSS2 protein, both required for viral infection. We examined 19 COVID-19 exposed placentas for histopathologic findings, and for expression of ACE2, and TMPRSS2 by immunohistochemistry. Direct placental SARS-CoV-2 expression was studied by two methods-nucleocapsid protein expression by immunohistochemistry, and RNA expression by in situ hybridization. ACE2 membranous expression in the syncytiotrophoblast (ST) of the chorionic villi is predominantly in a polarized pattern with expression highest on the stromal side of the ST. In addition, cytotrophoblast and extravillous trophoblast express ACE2. No ACE2 expression was detected in villous stroma, Hofbauer cells, or endothelial cells. TMPRSS2 expression was only present weakly in the villous endothelium and rarely in the ST. In 2 of 19 cases, SARS-CoV-2 RNA was present in the placenta focally in the ST and cytotrophoblast. There was no characteristic histopathology present in our cases including the two placental infections. We found that the placenta is capable of being infected but that this event is rare. We propose one explanation could be the polarized expression of ACE2 away from the maternal blood and pronounced paucity of TMPRSS2 expression in trophoblast.
Approximately one-third of infected pregnant women died from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) epidemics of the past two decades. It is logical to predict that pregnant women infected with the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) might be at higher risk for severe illness, morbidity, or mortality compared with non-pregnant women. However, a review of the literature indicates that pregnant women are not more likely to be seriously ill than other healthy non-pregnant women if they develop coronavirus disease (COVID-19). This observation begs the question: "Why does pregnancy not increase the risk for acquiring SARS-CoV-2 infection, nor does it worsen the clinical course of COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant individuals?" Herein, we try to explain our observations when considering whether the immunologic changes of pregnancy and other physiologic adaptations of pregnancy affect the virulence and course of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Background: Clinical manifestation and neonatal outcomes of pregnant women with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) were unclear in Wuhan, China.
Methods: We retrospectively analyzed clinical characteristics of pregnant and nonpregnant women with COVID-19 aged from 20 to 40, admitted between January 15 and March 15, 2020 at Union Hospital, Wuhan, and symptoms of pregnant women with COVID-19 and compared the clinical characteristics and symptoms to historic data previously reported for H1N1.
Results: Among 64 patients, 34 (53.13%) were pregnant, with higher proportion of exposure history (29.41% vs 6.67%) and more pulmonary infiltration on computed tomography test (50% vs 10%) compared to nonpregnant women. Of pregnant patients, 27 (79.41%) completed pregnancy, 5 (14.71%) had natural delivery, 18 (52.94%) had cesarean section, and 4 (11.76%) had abortion; 5 (14.71%) patients were asymptomatic. All 23 newborns had negative reverse-transcription polymerase chain results, and an average 1-minute Apgar score was 8-9 points. Pregnant and nonpregnant patients show differences in symptoms such as fever, expectoration, and fatigue and on laboratory tests such as neurophils, fibrinogen, D-dimer, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Pregnant patients with COVID-19 tend to have more milder symptoms than those with H1N1.
Conclusions: Clinical characteristics of pregnant patients with COVID-19 are less serious than nonpregnant. No evidence indicated that pregnant women may have fetal infection through vertical transmission of COVID-19. Pregnant patients with H1N1 had more serious condition than those with COVID-19.
Cryopreservation of reproductive cells and tissues represents an essential aspect of ART practices that might be particularly strategic and helpful during SARS-CoV-2 emergency. However, recommendations on how and when to preserve reproductive tissues and cells during a novel severe pandemic are scanty. This paper uses a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis to identify favorable and unfavorable factors and to recognize challenges and obstacles related to the use of cryopreservation procedures during the spreading of a new virus. One of the strengths associated with the cryopreservation is represented by the availability of robust European guidelines on storage safety to prevent sample contamination or cross-contamination by pathogens. These recommendations should be deep-rooted in all ART laboratories. Weaknesses include uncertainties regarding the management of COVID-19 affected asymptomatic patients, the suboptimal accuracy of diagnostic tests for the disease, the nebulous prospective regarding the duration of the pandemic and the additional costs. The application of the strategy represents an opportunity to postpone pregnancy in order to avoid a severe infectious disease during gestation while concomitantly counteracting the possible detrimental effect of time. Critical threats, at present still undefined, are represented by potential adverse events for the mother and offspring due to infected gametes or embryos after thawing and, subsequently, the re-spreading of the virus.
Objective: To evaluate the clinical manifestations and outcomes of neonates born to women who had Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) during pregnancy.
Materials and methods: A systematic literature search was conducted on PubMed and Embase till April 15, 2020, by combining the terms (COVID-19, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2, SARS-CoV-2, Novel Coronavirus, 2019-nCov, Wuhan pneumonia) and (pregnancy, pregnant women, mother, fetus, neonate, newborn, infant).
Results: We included 16 case series and 12 case reports describing a total of 223 pregnant women and 201 infants. Four newborns born to mothers affected by COVID-19 were reported to have laboratory-confirmed Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection within 48 hours after birth. However, Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction tests of the breast milk, placenta, amniotic fluids, and cord blood and maternal vaginal secretions were all negative for SARS-CoV-2 in the reported cases. Fetal death was reported in two cases, and 48 of 185 newborns (25.9%) were born prematurely. Infants born small for gestational age and low birth weight (< 2,500 g) accounted for 8.3% and 15.6% of reported cases, respectively. Birth asphyxia and respiratory distress syndrome were observed in 1.8% and 6.4% of neonates, respectively. There was one neonatal death due to intractable gastric bleeding among the SARS-CoV-2-negative infants.
Conclusions: Current evidence suggests that COVID-19 during pregnancy rarely affects fetal and neonatal mortality, but can be associated with adverse neonatal morbidities. Vertical transmission has not been observed in the majority of the reported cases. The infants born to mothers with COVID-19 are carefully monitored for accompanying complication, and quarantine of infected mothers is warranted.
Objective: To explore the prevalence of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 in the maternity population.
Study design: Newham University Hospital based in East London serving a population with the highest death rate secondary to SARS-CoV-2 in the UK, commenced universal screening of all admissions to the Maternity Unit from 22nd April to 5th May, 2020. A proforma was created to capture key patient demographics, indication for admission and presence of SARS-CoV-2 related symptoms at the point of presentation.
Results: A total of 180 women with a mean age of 29.9 (SD 7.4) years, at a median gestation of 39 (IQR 37 + 1-40 + 3) weeks underwent universal screening with nasopharyngeal PCR swabs during the two-week period of the study. BAME identity or parity was not associated with the likelihood of a positive result. Seven women (3.9 %, 1.6-7.8) were tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, of whom 6 (3.3 %, 1.2-7.1) were asymptomatic; 85.7 % (42.1-99.6) of the SARS-CoV-2 positive women were asymptomatic. The sensitivity of symptom-driven testing was 14.3 % (0.36-57.87) and specificity was 91.86 % (86.72-95.48) with a positive predictive value of 6.67 % (1.08-31.95) and a negative predictive value of 96.34 % (95.10-97.28).
Conclusion: The prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in the maternity population served by Newham University Hospital was 3.9 %, four weeks after lockdown. Of the women who were found to be SARS-CoV-2 positive, a high proportion (87.9 %) were asymptomatic. These findings support the need for universal testing to enable targeted isolation and robust infectious control measures to mitigate outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 in maternity units.
Psychological disturbance among pregnant women is an important health parameter. There is a dearth of studies assessing the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the pregnant population. The present descriptive, cross-sectional study evaluated anxiety, depression, and associated factors in pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in Castle Street Hospital for Women (CSHW), a tertiary care maternity hospital located in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Reproductive health is a significant public health issue during pandemics; however, the impacts of the novel 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on noninfected pregnant women are still unknown. This study intends (1) to examine whether emotional eating (EE) occurred during the pandemic triggered by disease concerns and (2) to explore the associations among EE, dietary changes, and gestational weight gain (GWG). Based on an online survey, 640 new mothers who experienced the lockdown in their third trimester were recruited from seven provinces in China. EE was evaluated with the Chinese version of the Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire, EE domain. A self-designed e-questionnaire was used to collect the data of participants on the sociodemographic characteristics, concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, maternity information, physical activities, and dietary changes during lockdown. The results show that the average EE score was 26.5 ± 8.3, and women living in a severely affected area, who are very worried about the pandemic and who had less physical activity had a higher tendency of EE. Although there is a dietary pattern changed during pandemic, the average GWG in the studied group was in the normal range. However, a higher EE score was associated with a significant excess of GWG in women not from Wuhan (EE score 33-65 vs. 13-22: adjusted Odd Ratio (OR), 95% Confidence Interval (CI) = 1.90, 1.08-3.32). The sensitivity analysis that additionally adjusted for the pregestational body mass index and gestational metabolic disease was consistent with this result. The mediation model was also examined and showed that, after adjusting for living area and exercise, EE was associated with significantly increased consumption of cereals (EE score 33-65 vs. 13-22: adjusted OR, 95% CI = 2.22, 1.29-3.82) and oil (EE score 33-65 vs. 13-22: adjusted OR, 95% CI = 3.03, 1.06-8.69) but decreased consumption of fish and seafood (EE score 33-65 vs. 13-22: adjusted OR, 95% CI = 1.88, 1.14-3.11; 23-32 vs. 13-22: adjusted OR, 95% CI = 1.79, 1.20-2.66). In conclusion, this study indicated that EE occurred in a proportional number of pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic and is associated with excess GWG mediated by increased intake of certain foods. The findings suggest the need for psychosocial and nutritional education and interventions during pregnancy checkups. Further studies are needed to determine modifiable psychosocial predictors and potential nutritional concerns in pregnant women during disease outbreaks.
Objective: To study the effect of COVID-19 on pregnancy and neonatal outcomes.
Study design: Prospective cohort study in a large tertiary maternity unit within a university hospital with an average annual birth of over 10,000 births. We prospectively collected and analysed data for a cohort of 23 pregnant patients including singleton and multiple pregnancies tested positive for COVID-19 between February 2020 and April 2020 inclusive to assess the effect of COVID-19 on pregnancy, and neonatal outcomes.
Results: Twenty-three pregnant patients tested positive for COVID-19, delivering 20 babies including a set of twins, with four ongoing pregnancies at the time of manuscript submission. 16/23 (70 %) whom tested positive were patients from Asian (Indian sub-continent) background. The severity of the symptoms ranged from mild in 13/23 (65.2 %) of the patients, moderate in 2/23 (8.7 %), and severe in 8/23 (34.8 %). Four out of total 23 COVID-19 pregnant patients (17.4 %) developed severe adult respiratory distress syndrome complications requiring ICU support, one of whom led to maternal death 1/23 (4.3 %). 11/23 (48 %) of the patients had pre-existing co-morbidities, with morbid obesity 5/23 (21.7 %) and diabetes 4/23 (17.4 %) being the more commonly represented. Of the 23 pregnant patients 19 were in their third trimester of pregnancy and delivered; 7/19 (36.8 %) had preterm birth, 3/19 (15.8 %) developed adult respiratory distress syndrome before delivery, and 2/19 (10.5 %) had pre-eclampsia. 16/19 (84 %) of patients delivered by C-section. Out of the 20 new-borns, 18 were singletons with a set of twin.
Conclusion: COVID-19 is associated with high prevalence of preterm birth, preeclampsia, and caesarean section compared to non-COVID pregnancies. COVID-19 infection was not found in the newborns and none developed severe neonatal complications.
Pregnancy comprises a unique immunological condition, to allow fetal development and to protect the host from pathogenic infections. Viral infections during pregnancy can disrupt immunological tolerance and may generate deleterious effects on the fetus. Despite these possible links between pregnancy and infection-induced morbidity, it is unclear how pregnancy interferes with maternal response to some viral pathogens. In this context, the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) can induce the coronavirus diseases-2019 (COVID-19) in pregnant women. The potential risk of vertical transmission is unclear, babies born from COVID-19-positive mothers seems to have no serious clinical symptoms, the possible mechanisms are discussed, which highlights that checking the children's outcome and more research is warranted. In this review, we investigate the reports concerning viral infections and COVID-19 during pregnancy, to establish a correlation and possible implications of COVID-19 during pregnancy and neonatal's health.
The scarcity of data concerning pregnant patients gravely infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) makes their management difficult, as most of the reported cases in the literature present mild pneumonia symptoms. The core problem is laying out evidence on coronavirus's implications on pregnancy and delivery, as well as vertical transmission and neonatal mortality. A healthy 30-year-old pregnant woman, gravida 6, para 4, at 31 weeks of gestation, presented severe pneumonia symptoms promptly complicated with premature rupture of membranes (PROM). A nasopharyngeal swab returned positive for SARS-CoV-2 using reverse transcription polymerase chain reactions (RT-PCR). The parturient underwent a cesarean delivery. This paper is an attempt to outline management of the critical condition of COVID-19 during pregnancy.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, limited racial and ethnic data have been published about the prevalence and severity of the disease in pregnant women. Ethical approval was obtained from the Brigham and Women's Hospital Institutional Review Board. The present study reviewed the cases of women at an academic hospital-based obstetrics practice diagnosed with COVID-19 during pregnancy or within eight weeks postpartum and abstracted data from electronic medical records including demographics, pregnancy, neonatal, and COVID-19 outcomes.
The COVID-19 pandemic is challenging health systems across the world. The potential for devastating consequences in resource-limited low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is just beginning to be understood. In the majority of LMICs, maternal healthcare is focused outside a health center through the use of community health workers and birth attendants. These essential workers provide the majority of maternal health care around the globe and are ill prepared for the highly transmissible nature of this novel virus and its consequences for their communities. Little attention has been focused on their training and responsiveness during this pandemic.
In less than four months, the total of confirmed cases of COVID-19 was 1,684,833 worldwide. Outcomes among the public of pregnant women with COVID-19 are still unclear. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to analyze whether COVID-19 in pregnant women is related to premature birth and birth weight, and to summarize the diagnostic results of neonates born to mothers with COVID-19 for investigating the possibility of vertical transmission. Searches were performed in PubMed, Scopus, LILACS, Web of Science, Google Scholar, Preprints, bioRxiv, and medRxiv. We used the odds ratio (OR) and mean difference (MD) as measure of analysis. Summary estimates were calculated using random effects models. 38 studies were included; data from 279 women were analyzed; 60 patients were diagnosed with COVID-19. The meta-analysis showed no significant association between COVID-19 and preterm delivery (OR = 2.25; 95%CI: 0.96, 5.31; p = 0.06; I² = 0%). No significant relationship was found between birth weight and COVID-19 (MD = -124.16; 95%CI: -260.54, 12.22; p = 0.07; I² = 0%). Among 432 newborns, 10 were reported with positive results for early SARS-CoV-2. Due to the characteristics of the studies, the level of evidence of this meta-analysis was considered very low. COVID-19 in pregnant women may not be associated with the occurrence of preterm deliveries or the birth weight of the newborn children, however the evidence to date is very uncertain. A few reports suggest vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to newborn is possible, but evidence is still uncertain.
Introduction: An outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) occurred in Wuhan, China starting in December 2019. Yet the clinical features and long-term outcomes of neonates with SARS-CoV-2 exposure are lacking. The purpose of this study is to describe the clinical course and prognosis of the neonates exposed to SARS-CoV-2.
Methods and analysis: This is a multicentre observational study conducted at the designated children and maternal and child hospitals in the mainland of China. Neonates exposed to SARS-CoV-2 infection will be recruited. The data to be collected via case report forms include demographic details, clinical features, laboratory and imaging results, as well as outcomes. Primary outcomes are the mortality of neonates with COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 infection of neonates born to mothers with COVID-19. Secondary outcomes are the birth weight, premature delivery and neurological development of neonates exposed to SARS-CoV-2. The neurological development is assessed by the Chinese standardised Denver Developmental Screening Test at the corrected age of 6 months.
Ethics and dissemination: This study has been approved by the Children's Hospital of Fudan University ethics committee (No. (2020)31). The study findings will be disseminated in peer-reviewed journals and presented at national and international conferences in order to improve the understanding of the clinical course among neonates exposed to SARS-CoV-2 and to provide evidence-based treatment and prevention strategies for this group.
Limited data are available for pregnant women affected by SARS-CoV-2. Serological tests are critically important for determining SARS-CoV-2 exposures within both individuals and populations. We validated a SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor binding domain serological test using 834 pre-pandemic samples and 31 samples from COVID-19 recovered donors. We then completed SARS-CoV-2 serological testing of 1,293 parturient women at two centers in Philadelphia from April 4 to June 3, 2020. We found 80/1,293 (6.2%) of parturient women possessed IgG and/or IgM SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies. We found race/ethnicity differences in seroprevalence rates, with higher rates in Black/non-Hispanic and Hispanic/Latino women. Of the 72 seropositive women who also received nasopharyngeal polymerase chain reaction testing during pregnancy, 46 (64%) were positive. Continued serologic surveillance among pregnant women may inform perinatal clinical practices and can potentially be used to estimate exposure to SARS-CoV-2 within the community.
Introduction: To review published studies related to the association of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections with pregnancy, foetal, and neonatal outcomes during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in a systematic manner.
Methods: A comprehensive electronic search was done through PubMed, Scopus, Medline, Cochrane database, and Google Scholar from December 01, 2019, to May 22, 2020, along with the reference list of all included studies. All cohort studies that reported on outcomes of COVID-19 during pregnancy were included. Qualitative assessment of included studies was performed using the Newcastle-Ottawa scale.
Results: Upon admission, most pregnant women underwent a low-dose radiation CT scan; the reports of which included unilateral/bilateral pneumonia in most patients. A marked lymphopenia was also noted in many patients with COVID-19. 513 titles were screened, and 22 studies were included, which identified 156 pregnant women with COVID-19 and 108 neonatal outcomes. The most common maternal/foetal complications included intrauterine/foetal distress (14%) and premature rupture of membranes (8%). The neonatal clinical manifestations of COVID-19 commonly included shortness of breath (6%), gastrointestinal symptoms (4%), and fever (3%).
Conclusion: COVID-19 infection in pregnancy leads to increased risk in pregnancy complications such as preterm birth, PPROM, and may possibly lead to maternal death in rare cases. There is no evidence to support vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2 infection to the unborn child. Due to a paucity of inconsistent data regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the newborn, caution should be undertaken to further investigate and monitor possible infection in the neonates born to COVID-19-infected mothers.
Background: COVID-19 reported in pregnant women has occured in late pregnancy, while there are no reports of infection in the first and second trimester. We report two neonates born to mothers with COVID-19 during the second trimester.
Case presentation: Two pregnant women had symptomatic COVID-19 in the second trimester. Throat swabs at delivery for SARS-COV-2 RNA were negative for both women and their newborns. The first woman had positive serum IgM and IgG antibodies to SARS-COV-2 before delivery. Her newborn had negative IgM antibody to SARS-COV-2 but IgG was positive on the 7th day after birth. The second woman had negative serum IgM antibody to SARS-COV-2 but IgG was positive before delivery. Her newborn had negative serum IgM antibody to SARS-COV-2 but IgG was positive at 48 h after birth. None of the neonates developed clinical symptoms of COVID-19.
Conclusion: SARS-COV-2 is unlikely to be vertically transmitted in utero as evidenced by the specific antibodies in the serum of the two women and their newborns. The two women with SARS-COV-2 infection in the second trimester did not develop serious complications at delivery and outcomes of the neonates were good.
The outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused a global public health crisis. Viral infections may predispose pregnant women to a higher rate of pregnancy complications, including preterm births, miscarriage, and stillbirth. Despite reports of neonatal COVID-19, definitive proof of vertical transmission is still lacking. In this review, we summarize studies regarding the potential evidence for transplacental transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), characterize the expression of its receptors and proteases, describe the placental pathology and analyze virus-host interactions at the maternal-fetal interface. We focus on the syncytium, the barrier between mother and fetus, and describe in detail its physical and structural defense against viral infections. We further discuss the potential molecular mechanisms, whereby the placenta serves as a defense front against pathogens by regulating the interferon type III signaling, microRNA-triggered autophagy and the nuclear factor-κB pathway. Based on these data, we conclude that vertical transmission may occur but rare, ascribed to the potent physical barrier, the fine-regulated placental immune defense and modulation strategies. Particularly, immunomodulatory mechanisms employed by the placenta may mitigate violent immune response, maybe soften cytokine storm tightly associated with severely ill COVID-19 patients, possibly minimizing cell and tissue damages, and potentially reducing SARS-CoV-2 transmission.
Background: As of June 1, 2020, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused more than 6,000,000 infected persons and 360,000 deaths globally. Previous studies revealed pregnant women with COVID-19 had similar clinical manifestations to nonpregnant women. However, little is known about the outcome of neonates born to infected women.
Methods and findings: In this retrospective study, we studied 29 pregnant women with COVID-19 infection delivered in 2 designated general hospitals in Wuhan, China between January 30 and March 10, 2020, and 30 neonates (1 set of twins). Maternal demographic characteristics, delivery course, symptoms, and laboratory tests from hospital records were extracted. Neonates were hospitalized if they had symptoms (5 cases) or their guardians agreed to a hospitalized quarantine (13 cases), whereas symptom-free neonates also could be discharged after birth and followed up through telephone (12 cases). For hospitalized neonates, laboratory test results and chest X-ray or computed tomography (CT) were extracted from hospital records. The presence of antibody of SARS-CoV-2 was assessed in the serum of 4 neonates. Among 29 pregnant COVID-19-infected women (13 confirmed and 16 clinical diagnosed), the majority had higher education (56.6%), half were employed (51.7%), and their mean age was 29 years. Fourteen women experienced mild symptoms including fever (8), cough (9), shortness of breath (3), diarrhea (2), vomiting (1), and 15 were symptom-free. Eleven of 29 women had pregnancy complications, and 27 elected to have a cesarean section delivery. Of 30 neonates, 18 were admitted to Wuhan Children's Hospital for quarantine and care, whereas the other 12 neonates discharged after birth without any symptoms and had normal follow-up. Five hospitalized neonates were diagnosed as COVID-19 infection (2 confirmed and 3 suspected). In addition, 12 of 13 other hospitalized neonates presented with radiological features for pneumonia through X-ray or CT screening, 1 with occasional cough and the others without associated symptoms. SARS-CoV-2 specific serum immunoglobulin M (IgM) and immunoglobulin G (IgG) were measured in 4 neonates and 2 were positive. The limited sample size limited statistical comparison between groups.
Conclusions: In this study, we observed COVID-19 or radiological features of pneumonia in some, but not all, neonates born to women with COVID-19 infection. These findings suggest that intrauterine or intrapartum transmission is possible and warrants clinical caution and further investigation.
Little is known about the effects of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) on pregnant women, fetuses, and neonates, especially when the virus is contracted early in pregnancy. The literature is especially lacking on the effects of SARS-CoV-2 on extremely preterm (<28 weeks gestation) infants who have underdeveloped immune systems. We report the case of an extremely preterm, 25-week 5-days old infant, born to a mother with severe COVID-19 (coronavirus disease-2019) pneumonia. In this case, there is no evidence of vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2 based on reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction testing, despite extreme prematurity. However, it appears that severe maternal COVID-19 may have been associated with extremely preterm delivery, based on observed histologic chorioamnionitis. This is the first reported case of an extremely preterm infant born to a mother with severe COVID-19 pneumonia who required intubation, and was treated with hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, remdesivir, tocilizumab, convalescent plasma, inhaled nitric oxide, and prone positioning for severe hypoxemic respiratory failure prior to and after delivery of this infant. The infant remains critically ill with severe respiratory failure on high-frequency ventilation, inotropic support, hydrocortisone for pressor-resistant hypotension, and inhaled nitric oxide for severe persistent pulmonary hypertension with a right to left shunt across the patent ductus arteriosus and foramen ovale. Pregnant women or women planning to get pregnant should take all precautions to minimize exposure to SARS-CoV-2 to decrease adverse perinatal outcomes.
Objective: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a novel infectious disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Several reports highlighted the risk of infection and disease in pregnant women and neonates. To assess the risk of clinical complications in pregnant women and neonates infected with SARS-CoV-2 carrying out a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies.
Data sources: Search of the scientific evidence was performed using the engines PubMed and Scopus, including articles published from December 2019 to 15 April 2020.
Study eligibility criteria: Only observational studies focused on the assessment of clinical outcomes associated with pregnancy in COVID-19 women were selected.
Study appraisal and synthesis methods: The first screening was based on the assessment of titles and abstracts, followed by the evaluation of full-texts. Qualitative variables were summarized with frequencies, whereas quantitative variables with central and variability indicators depending on their parametric distribution. Forest plots were used to describe point estimates and in-between studies variability. Study quality assessment was performed.
Results: Thirteen studies were selected. All of them were carried out in China. The mean (SD) age and gestational age of pregnant women were 30.3 (1.5) years and 35.9 (2.9) weeks, respectively. The mean (SD) duration from the first symptoms to the hospital admission and to labour were 5.5 (2.0) and 9.5 (8.7) days, respectively. Patients mainly complained of fever and cough (pooled (95 % CI) proportions were 76.0 % (57.0 %-90.0 %) and 38.0 (28.0 %-47.0 %), respectively). Several antibiotics, antivirals, and corticosteroids were prescribed in different combinations. The pooled prevalence of maternal complications and of caesarean section were 45.0 % (95 % CI: 24.0 %-67.0 %) and 88.0 % (95 %CI: 82.0 %-94.0 %). A proportion of pregnant women less than 20 % were admitted to ICU. The pooled proportion of preterm infants was 23.0 % (95 %CI: 11.0 %-39.0 %). The most frequent neonatal complications were pneumonia and respiratory distress syndrome. The pooled percentage of infected neonates was 6.0 % (95 %CI: 2.0 %-12.0 %).
Conclusions: The present study suggests a high rate of maternal and neonatal complications in infected individuals. However, the current scientific evidence highlights a low risk of neonatal infection. Multicentre, cohort studies are needed to better elucidate the role of SARS-CoV-2 during pregnancy.
Background: With the disease burden increasing daily, there is a lack of evidence regarding the impact of COVID-19 in pregnancy. Healthy pregnant women are still not regarded as a susceptible group despite physiological changes that make pregnant women more vulnerable to severe infection. However, high-risk pregnancies may be associated with severe COVID-19 disease with respiratory failure, as outlined in this report. We discuss the importance of timely delivery and antenatal steroid administration in a critically ill patient.
Case: A 27-year-old pregnant woman (gravida 2, para 1) with type I diabetes, morbid obesity, hypothyroidism and a previous Caesarean section presented with critical respiratory failure secondary to COVID-19 at 32 weeks of gestation. A preterm emergency Caesarean section was performed, after steroid treatment for foetal lung maturation. The patient benefited from prone positioning; however, transient acute renal injury, rhabdomyolysis and sepsis led to prolonged intensive care and mechanical ventilation for 30 days. The baby had an uncomplicated recovery.
Conclusion: COVID-19 infection in high-risk pregnancies may result in severe maternal and neonatal outcomes such as critical respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation and premature termination of the pregnancy. Antenatal steroids may be of benefit for foetal lung maturation but should not delay delivery in severe cases.
Background: Management of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in pregnant women infected with new severe acute respiratory syndrome Corona virus 2 (SARS-CoV2) is a challenging clinical task.
Case: A 30- year-old woman (gravid 3, parity 2) presented at her 21 and 2/7 weeks gestation (pre pregnancy BMI: 36.1 kg/m2), with ARDS caused by SARS-CoV2 infection. She received lopinavir/ritonavir and azithromycin as well as early methyl prednisolone therapy. Given the persistent hypoxemia despite oxygen therapy via non rebreather face mask (FiO2:80%), convalescent plasma transfusion was administered that led to a mild clinical improvement as well as decrease in inflammatory markers. Growth of her fetus assessed by obstetric sonography was normal during hospital stay.
Conclusion: Judicious corticosteroid therapy along with convalescent plasma transfusion to suppress viremia and cytokine storm can lead to favorable outcome in the pregnant women with ARDS caused by SARS-CoV2 infection without superimposed bacterial infection.
Objective: Analyze newborns diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 performed with RT-PCR at birth or during the first days of birth and to look for an association with the route of birth.
Methods: We conducted a comprehensive literature search for newborns diagnosed with COVID-19 using PubMed, LILACS and Google scholar until May 15, 2020, looking for published articles with pregnancy, vertical transmission, intrauterine transmission, neonates, delivery.
Results: There were found 10 articles with a total of 15 newborn infected with SARS-CoV-2 according to positive PCR at birth or in the first days of birth. Eleven newborn birth by cesarean section and 4 vaginally. Of the 11 cases with cesarean section, two presented premature rupture of the membranes. Seven newborns developed pneumonia, of which two had ruptured membranes and one was born by vaginal delivery.
Conclusion: This review shows that there is perinatal or neonatal infection with SARS-CoV-2 by finding a positive PCR in the first days of birth. In addition, that there is more possibility of neonatal infection if the birth is vaginal or if there is premature rupture of the membranes before cesarean section. Vaginal delivery and premature rupture of membranes should be considered as risk factors for perinatal infection.
BACKGROUND Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) has been defined as a pandemic infecting millions of individuals with a significantly high mortality and morbidity rate. Treatment and management for pregnant patients infected with COVID-19 has been poorly described in the literature. Furthermore, vertical transmission of COVID-19 to the fetus has been poorly described. The purpose of this case series is to present 3 patients in their trimester who underwent emergent cesarean sections and were successfully managed in the intensive care unit. CASE REPORT We present the cases of 3 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 via RT-PCR in their third trimester of pregnancy. All patients underwent emergent cesarean sections and were managed on mechanical ventilation in the intensive care unit and eventually discharged in stable condition. CONCLUSIONS Early cesarean section and aggressive management with mechanical ventilation has been shown to be very beneficial for mothers diagnosed with COVID-19 and their infants. All 3 patients were successfully extubated, and all 3 infants tested negative for COVID-19, suggesting no vertical transmission; although, further studies are needed to confirm this finding.
Background: While the COVID-19 pandemic will increase mortality due to the virus, it is also likely to increase mortality indirectly. In this study, we estimate the additional maternal and under-5 child deaths resulting from the potential disruption of health systems and decreased access to food.
Methods: We modelled three scenarios in which the coverage of essential maternal and child health interventions is reduced by 9·8-51·9% and the prevalence of wasting is increased by 10-50%. Although our scenarios are hypothetical, we sought to reflect real-world possibilities, given emerging reports of the supply-side and demand-side effects of the pandemic. We used the Lives Saved Tool to estimate the additional maternal and under-5 child deaths under each scenario, in 118 low-income and middle-income countries. We estimated additional deaths for a single month and extrapolated for 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months.
Findings: Our least severe scenario (coverage reductions of 9·8-18·5% and wasting increase of 10%) over 6 months would result in 253 500 additional child deaths and 12 200 additional maternal deaths. Our most severe scenario (coverage reductions of 39·3-51·9% and wasting increase of 50%) over 6 months would result in 1 157 000 additional child deaths and 56 700 additional maternal deaths. These additional deaths would represent an increase of 9·8-44·7% in under-5 child deaths per month, and an 8·3-38·6% increase in maternal deaths per month, across the 118 countries. Across our three scenarios, the reduced coverage of four childbirth interventions (parenteral administration of uterotonics, antibiotics, and anticonvulsants, and clean birth environments) would account for approximately 60% of additional maternal deaths. The increase in wasting prevalence would account for 18-23% of additional child deaths and reduced coverage of antibiotics for pneumonia and neonatal sepsis and of oral rehydration solution for diarrhoea would together account for around 41% of additional child deaths.
Interpretation: Our estimates are based on tentative assumptions and represent a wide range of outcomes. Nonetheless, they show that, if routine health care is disrupted and access to food is decreased (as a result of unavoidable shocks, health system collapse, or intentional choices made in responding to the pandemic), the increase in child and maternal deaths will be devastating. We hope these numbers add context as policy makers establish guidelines and allocate resources in the days and months to come.
SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus causing a global pandemic of a severe respiratory illness known as COVID-19. To date, globally, over 30,000 people have died from this emerging disease. As clinicians and healthcare systems around the world are rapidly adapting to manage patients with COVID-19, limited data are emerging from different patient populations to support best-practice and improve outcomes. In this review, we present a summary of emerging data in the obstetric population and offer obstetric and anaesthetic clinicians around the world a set of evidence-driven, practice-based recommendations for the anaesthetic management of pregnant women with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
Objective:To describe regional experiences and measures implemented to safely maintain obstetrics and gynecology services during the COVID-19 pandemic at King Abdullah University Hospital in Jordan.
Methods: All policies and measures were implemented in keeping with World Health Organization and other international recommendations and guidelines.
Results: With concerted effort and a multidisciplinary approach, most maternity and gynecology services were provided and all other training and educating responsibilities were maintained.
Conclusion: COVID-19 caused an unprecedented global healthcare crisis. Our institution addressed the challenges and implemented several measures at different levels to maintain services and facilitate the training and teaching of trainees and medical students.
Objective: To explore whether quarantine measures and hospital containment policies among women giving birth in a COVID-19 "hotspot" area in northeastern Italy enhanced psycho-emotional distress in the immediate postpartum period.
Methods: We designed a non-concurrent case-control study of mothers who gave birth during a COVID-19 quarantine period between March 8 and May 3, 2020 (COVID-19 study group), with an antecedent group of matched postpartum women (control group) who delivered in the same period in 2019. Participants completed the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) on the second day postpartum.
Results: The COVID-19 study group (n=91) had significantly higher mean EPDS scores compared with the control group (n=101) (8.5 ± 4.6 vs 6.34 ± 4.1; P<0.001). Furthermore, 28.6% of women in the COVID-19 group had a global EPDS score above 12. Analysis of three EPDS subscales revealed significantly higher scores among the COVID-19 group compared with the control group for anhedonia (0.60 ± 0.61 vs 0.19 ± 0.36; P<0.001) and depression (0.58 ± 0.54 vs 0.35 ± 0.45; P=0.001).
Conclusions: Concerns about risk of exposure to COVID-19, combined with quarantine measures adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic, adversely affected the thoughts and emotions of new mothers, worsening depressive symptoms.
Children, because of having an immature immune system, are usually more prone than the adults to the microbial infections and have more severe symptoms, which is especially true for the newborns, and very young children. However, the review of clinical data from the current COVID-19 pandemic indicates otherwise. We discuss here what are the main features and components of children's immune system, the role of maternal transmission of immunity, and what are the possible explanations for the seemingly lower infection rate and severity of COVI-19 in children.
The emerging coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2 has spread rapidly around the world. Responsible for severe pneumonitis (Covid-19), there are also doubts concerning a possible mother-to-fetal transmission of this virus. Current data are patchy and obtained from small groups of patients. They tend to support the idea that the mother-to-fetal transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is very rare, but the period between infection and childbirth was often very short and may not allow sufficient replication to consider transplacental passage. Here, we reviewed the existing virological data and those remaining to explore. Thus, the natural history of SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnant women and the risk of transmission in utero is not yet fully understood and defined. Four months from the emergence of this virus, it is therefore reasonable to wait for the results of specific studies on larger cohorts which, to be conclusive, must meet the best scientific criteria.
Introduction/Objectives: National guidelines underscore the need for improvement in the detection and treatment of mood disorders in the perinatal period. Exposure to disasters can amplify perinatal mood disorders and even have intergenerational impacts. The primary aim of this pilot study was to use mixed-methods to better understand the mental health and well-being effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, as well as sources of resilience, among women during the perinatal period. Methods: The study team used a simultaneous exploratory mixed-methods design to investigate the primary objective. Thirty-one pregnant and postpartum women participated in phone interviews and were invited to complete an online survey which included validated mental health and well-being measures.
Results: Approximately 12% of the sample reported high depressive symptomatology and 60% reported moderate or severe anxiety. Forty percent of the sample reported being lonely. The primary themes related to stress were uncertainty surrounding perinatal care, exposure risk for both mother and baby, inconsistent messaging from information sources and lack of support networks. Participants identified various sources of resilience, including the use of virtual communication platforms, engaging in self-care behaviors (eg, adequate sleep, physical activity, and healthy eating), partner emotional support, being outdoors, gratitude, and adhering to structures and routines. Conclusions: Since the onset of COVID-19, many pregnant and postpartum women report struggling with stress, depression, and anxiety symptomatology. Findings from this pilot study begin to inform future intervention work to best support this highly vulnerable population.
Rationale: The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in 2019 has become a global pandemic. It is not known whether the disease is associated with a higher risk of infection in pregnant women or whether intrauterine vertical transmission can occur. We report 2 cases of pregnant women diagnosed with COVID-19.
Patient concerns: In all of Yichang city from January 20, 2020, to April 9, 2020, only 2 pregnant women, who were in the late stage of pregnancy, were diagnosed with COVID-19; one patient was admitted for fever with limb asthenia, and the other patient was admitted for abnormal chest computed tomography results.
Diagnoses: Both pregnant women were diagnosed with COVID-19.
Interventions: After the medical staff prepared for isolation and protection, the 2 pregnant women quickly underwent cesarean sections. A series of tests, such as laboratory, imaging, and SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid examinations, were performed on the 2 women with COVID-19 and their newborns.
Outcomes: One of the 2 infected pregnant women had severe COVID-19, and the other had mild disease. Both babies were delivered by cesarean section. Both of the women with COVID-19 worsened 3 to 6 days after delivery. Chest computed tomography suggested that the lesions due to SARS-CoV-2 infection increased. These women began to exhibit fever or reduced blood oxygen saturation again. One of the 2 newborns was born prematurely, and the other was born at full term. Neither infant was infected with COVID-19, but both had increased prothrombin time and fibrinogen, lactate dehydrogenase, phosphocreatine kinase, and creatine kinase isoenzyme contents.
Lessons: SARS-CoV-2 infection was not found in the newborns born to the 2 pregnant women with COVID-19, but transient coagulation dysfunction and myocardial damage occurred in the 2 newborns. Effective management strategies for pregnant women with COVID-19 will help to control the outbreak of COVID-19 among pregnant women.
Background: There are few reports of miscarriages or stillbirths in women infected with SARS-CoV-2. We present five consecutive cases of fetal death (≥12 weeks) without other putative causes in women with laboratory-confirmed (RT-PCR) COVID-19 managed in a single Brazilian institution.
Case series: All five women were outpatients with mild or moderate forms of COVID-19 and were not taking any medication. Four were nulliparous, all were overweight or obese, and none had any comorbidities or pregnancy complications that could contribute to fetal demise. Fetal death occurred at 21-38 weeks of gestation, on COVID-days 1-22. SARS-Cov-2 was detected by RT-PCR in amniotic fluid in one case and in placental specimens in two cases. All five women had acute chorioamnionitis on placental histology, massive deposition of fibrin, mixed intervillitis/villitis, and intense neutrophil and lymphocyte infiltration. One fetus had neutrophils inside alveolar spaces, suggestive of fetal infection.
Conclusions: These five cases of fetal demise in women with confirmed COVID-19 without any other significant clinical or obstetric disorders suggest that fetal death can be an outcome of SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnancy. The intense placental inflammatory reaction in all five cases raises the possibility of a direct effect of SARS-CoV-2 on the placenta.
Objective: A novel type of Coronavirus was identified in China in December 2019. The first cases of a form of pneumonia of unknown etiology were detected at the beginning of that month in Wuhan. The virus is believed to have emerged at the Wuhan Huanan Seafood Market, where transmission of a zoonotic pathogen to humans occurred.
Patients and methods: Some studies conducted in China during the epidemic report small numbers of pregnant women infected with SARS-CoV-2 and some pregnancy complications in patients with COVID-19. However, they fail to document the transplacental passage of the virus from mother to fetus.
Results: Following the COVID-19 outbreak, guidelines for couples who are undergoing treatments of assisted reproduction have been issued by the International Federation for Fertility Societies (IFFS), the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) and the Latin American Network of Assisted Reproduction (REDLARA). They recommend couples to discuss assisted reproduction with their doctors while those at risk or with SARS-CoV-2 should consider freezing oocytes or embryos and retransferring them later.
Conclusions: Other than the US, Italy is the country with the highest number of cases (197675 positives, 26644 deaths) (updated on April 26). The Italian National Transplant Centre and the Higher Institute of Health advised on March 17 to complete the cycles already started and not to start new cycles. Phase 2 will begin on 4 May with an increase in freedom of action and fertilization treatments will start again. The Society that brings together embryologists (SIERR) has issued the guidelines to be followed when this happens.
Beginning in late 2019, a novel coronavirus labeled SARS-CoV-2 spread around the world, affecting millions. The impact of the disease on patients and on health care delivery has been unprecedented. Here, we review what is currently known about the effects of the virus and its clinical condition, Covid-19 in areas of relevance to those providing care to neonates. While aspects of pregnancy, including higher expression of the cell receptor for the virus, ACE2, could put these women at higher risk, preliminary epidemiological information does not support this. Viral carriage prevalence based on universal screening show that rates vary from 13% in "hot spots" such as New York City, to 3% in areas with lower cases. Vertical transmission risks are unknown but 3.1% of 311 babies born to mothers with Covid-19 were positive within a week of birth. The clinical description of 26 neonates <30 days of age showed no deaths and only one requiring intensive care. Risks for breast-feeding and for milk banks are discussed.
Molecular diagnostics is a rapidly growing branch of the clinical laboratory and has accelerated the advance of personalized medicine in the fields of pharmacogenomics, pharmacogenetics, and nutrigenomics. The versatility of molecular biology allows it to be effective in several medical fields that include reproduction, immunogenetics and virology. Implementation of molecular and sequencing technology in reproductive medicine can add another layer of understanding to better define the causes behind infertility and recurrent reproductive loss. In the following we examine current molecular methods for probing factors behind reproductive pregnancy loss including reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR), and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS). We review several current and potential genetic (DNA) and transcriptional (RNA) based parameters in women with infertility that can be significant in diagnosis and treatment. These molecular factors can be inferred either from genomic DNA, or RNA locally within the endometrium. Furthermore, we consider infection-based abnormalities such as Human Herpes Virus-6 (HHV-6), and Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS CoV-2). Finally, we present future directions as well as data demonstrating the potential role of Human Endogenous Retroviruses (HERV) in pregnancy loss. We hope these discussions will assist the clinician in delineating some of the intricate molecular factors that can contribute to infertility and recurrent reproductive failures.
Many specialists use the remote management of people with chronic disease as diabetes, but structured management protocols have not been developed yet. The COVID-19 pandemic has given a big boost to the use of telemedicine, as it allows to maintain the physical distance, essential to the containment of contagion having regular health contact. Encouraging results related to the use of telemedicine in women with hyperglycaemia in pregnancy, have been recently published. It is well known that hyperglycaemia alters the immune response to infections, that inflammation, in turn, worsens glycaemic control and that any form of hyperglycaemia in pregnancy (HIP) has effects not only on the mother but also on development of the foetus. Therefore, the Italian Diabetes and Pregnancy Study Group, together with a group of experts, developed these recommendations in order to guide physicians in the management of HIP, providing specific diagnostic, therapeutic and assistance pathways (PDTAs) for the COVID-19 emergency. Three detailed PDTAs were developed, for type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes.
Study question: Does HIV protease inhibitor (PI)-based combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) initiated at periconception affect key events in early pregnancy, i.e. decidualization and spiral artery remodeling?
Summary answer: Two PIs, lopinavir and darunavir, currently offered as cART options in HIV-positive pregnancies were evaluated, and we found that lopinavir-based cART, but not darunavir-based cART, impaired uterine decidualization and spiral artery remodeling in both human ex vivo and mouse in vivo experimental models.
What is known already: Early initiation of cART is recommended for pregnant women living with HIV. However, poor birth outcomes are frequently observed in HIV-positive pregnancies exposed to PI-based cART, especially when it is initiated prior to conception. The correlation between early initiation of PI-cART and adverse birth outcomes is poorly understood, due to lack of data on the specific effects of PI-cART on the early stages of pregnancy involving uterine decidualization and spiral artery remodeling.
Study design, size, duration: Lopinavir and darunavir were evaluated in clinically relevant combinations using an ex vivo human first-trimester placenta-decidua explant model, an in vitro human primary decidual cell culture system, and an in vivo mouse pregnancy model. The first-trimester (gestational age, 6-8 weeks) human placenta-decidua tissue was obtained from 11 to 15 healthy women undergoing elective termination of pregnancy. C57Bl/6 female mice (four/treatment group) were administered either lopinavir-cART, darunavir-cART or water by oral gavage once daily starting on the day of plug detection until sacrifice.
Participants/materials, setting, methods: Human: Spiral artery remodeling was assessed by immunohistochemical analysis of first-trimester placenta-decidua explant co-culture system. Trophoblast migration was measured using a placental explant culture. A primary decidual cell culture was used to evaluate the viability of immune cell populations by flow cytometry. Soluble factors, including biomarkers of decidualization and angiogenesis, were quantified by ELISA and Luminex assay using decidua-conditioned media. Mouse: In the mouse pregnancy model, gestational day 6.5 or 9.5 implantation sites were used to assess decidualization, spiral artery remodeling and uterine natural killer (uNK) cell numbers by immunohistochemistry. Transcription factor STAT3 was assayed by immunohistochemistry in both human decidua and mouse implantation sites.
Main results and the role of chance: Lopinavir-cART, but not darunavir-cART, impaired uterine decidualization and spiral artery remodeling in both experimental models. Lopinavir-cART treatment was also associated with selective depletion of uNK cells, reduced trophoblast migration and defective placentation. The lopinavir-associated decidualization defects were attributed to a decrease in expression of transcription factor STAT3, known to regulate decidualization. Our results suggest that periconceptional initiation of lopinavir-cART, but not darunavir-cART, causes defective maturation of the uterine endometrium, leading to impairments in spiral artery remodeling and placentation, thus contributing to the poor birth outcomes.
Large scale data: N/A.
Limitations, reasons for caution: The human first-trimester placenta/decidua samples could only be obtained from healthy females undergoing elective termination of pregnancy. As biopsy is the only way to obtain first-trimester decidua from pregnant women living with HIV on PI-cART, ethics approval and participant consent are difficult to obtain. Furthermore, our animal model is limited to the study of cART and does not include HIV. HIV infection is also associated with immune dysregulation, inflammation, alterations in angiogenic factors and complement activation, all of which could influence decidual and placental vascular remodeling and modify any cART effects.
Wider implications of the findings: Our findings provide mechanistic insight with direct clinical implications, rationalizing why the highest adverse birth outcomes are reported in HIV-positive pregnancies exposed to lopinavir-cART from conception. We demonstrate that dysregulation of decidualization is the mechanism through which lopinavir-cART, but not darunavir-cART, use in early pregnancy leads to poor birth outcomes. Although lopinavir is no longer a first-line regimen in pregnancy, it remains an alternate regimen and is often the only PI available in low resource settings. Our results highlight the need for reconsidering current guidelines recommending lopinavir use in pregnancy and indicate that lopinavir should be avoided especially in the first trimester, whereas darunavir is safe to use and should be the preferred PI in pregnancy.Further, in current times of the COVID-19 pandemic, lopinavir is among the top drug candidates which are being repurposed for inclusion in clinical trials world-over, to assess their therapeutic potential against the dangerous respiratory disease. Current trials are also testing the efficacy of lopinavir given prophylactically to protect health care workers and people with potential exposures. Given the current extraordinary numbers, these might include women with early pregnancies, who may or may not be cognizant of their gestational status. This is a matter of concern as it could mean that women with early pregnancies might be exposed to this drug, which can cause decidualization defects. Our findings provide evidence of safety concerns surrounding lopinavir use in pregnancy, that women of reproductive age considering participation in such trials should be made aware of, so they can make a fully informed decision.
Study funding/competing interest(s): This work was supported by funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) (PJT-148684 and MOP-130398 to L.S.). C.D. received support from CIHR Foundation (FDN143262 to Stephen Lye). S.K. received a TGHRI postdoctoral fellowship. The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest. L.S. reports personal fees from ViiV Healthcare for participation in a Women and Transgender Think Tank.
The emergence of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) as a pandemic threatens the entire world resulting in severe consequences for people's health. Pregnant patients with COVID-19 had immune dysregulation that could result in abnormal pregnancy outcomes such as hydatidiform mole (HM), recurrent pregnancy loss, and early-onset preeclampsia. In this article, we tried to summarize the possible association between COVID-19 and the HM's development by reviewing the role of NOD-Like Receptor (NLR) Family Pyrin Domain Containing 7 (NLRP7), cytokines, zinc and leucocytes in the pathogenesis of HM.
Over the past 4 months, SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has spread all over the world. The lack of understanding of this pandemic epidemiological characteristics, clinical implications and long term consequences have raised concern among healthcare workers. Pregnant women and newborns are a particularly worrisome population since data referring to real infection impact in these patients are scarce and management controversial. We report on the perinatal management of the first consecutive ten mother-infant dyads of SARS-CoV-2 infection complicated pregnancy. All mothers were included in newborn management planning prior to delivery and decided on separation from their newborns; nine decided on postponing breastfeeding until SARS-CoV-2 negativity while maintaining lactation stimulation. No evidence of vertical transmission was found (all NP swab and bronchial secretions SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR were negative). No newborn developed clinical evidence of infection. In the face of current scientific uncertainty, decisions of perinatal management, such as mother-infant separation and breastfeeding, must involve parents in a process of shared decision making.
Background: There is a growing understanding of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the general population. The unique immunology of pregnancy may result in variations from the reported course of disease.
Case: A 27-year-old primigravid woman presented with mild COVID-19 symptoms at 28 2/7 weeks of gestation, testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection by nasopharyngeal swab reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Antibody seroconversion was detected at 36 6/7 weeks of gestation. She presented for delivery at 38 1/7 weeks of gestation, and her SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test result was positive. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 RNA remained detectable 34 days postpartum and 104 days from her initial positive test.
Conclusions: Prolonged viral shedding of SARS-CoV RNA may occur in the pregnant patient. If prevalent, this complicates the interpretation of a positive SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test result in the asymptomatic gravid patient.
Aims: The wide-variety of affected organ-systems associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection highlights the need for tissue-specific evaluation. We compared placentas from SARS-CoV-2-positive and negative women in our hospital in New York City, which became the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. While some limited studies have been published on placentas from SARS-CoV-2-positive women to date, this study, in addition to describing histomorphology, utilizes in-situ hybridization (ISH) for the S-gene encoding the spike-protein and immunohistochemistry (IHC) with the monoclonal-SARS-CoV-2 spike-antibody 1A9 for placental evaluation.
Methods and results: In this study, 51 singleton, third-trimester placentas from SARS-CoV-2-positive women and 25 singleton, third-trimester placentas from SARS-CoV-2-negative women were examined histomorphologically using the Amsterdam Criteria as well as with ISH and/or IHC. Corresponding clinical findings and neonatal outcomes also were recorded. While no specific histomorphologic changes related to SARS-CoV-2 were noted in the placentas, evidence of maternal/fetal vascular malperfusion was identified, with placentas from SARS-CoV-2-positive women significantly more likely to show villous agglutination (p=0.003) and subchorionic thrombi (p=0.026) than placentas from SARS-CoV-2-negative women. No evidence of direct viral involvement was identified using ISH and IHC.
Conclusions: In this study, third trimester placentas from SARS-CoV-2-positive women were more likely to show evidence of maternal/fetal vascular malperfusion; however, no evidence of direct viral involvement or vertical transmission was noted by ISH and IHC.
These guidelines follow the mission of the World Association of Perinatal Medicine, which brings together groups and individuals throughout the world with the goal of improving outcomes of maternal, fetal and neonatal (perinatal) patients. Guidelines for auditing, evaluation, and clinical care in perinatal medicine enable physicians diagnose, treat and follow-up of COVID-19-exposed pregnant women. These guidelines are based on quality evidence in the peer review literature as well as the experience of perinatal expert throughout the world. Physicians are advised to apply these guidelines to the local realities which they face. We plan to update these guidelines as new evidence become available.
Objective: The aim of this study is to review the current evidence on the vertical transmission of SARS CoV-2.
Methods: Combination of the following keywords; COVID-19, SARS CoV-2, placenta, vertical transmission, intrauterine infection, breast milk were searched in databases.
Results: In the 50 studies included, 17 newborns testing positive for SARS CoV-2 by RT-PCR were reported. In three neonates, SARS-CoV-2 IgG and IgM levels were elevated. Eight placental tissues testing positive for the virus were reported. Three positive RT-PCR results of test of breast milk have been reported recently. One amniotic fluid testing positive was reported.
Conclusion: Possible vertical transmission of SARS CoV-2 has been observed in some studies currently. More RT-PCR tests on amniotic fluid, placenta, breast milk and cord blood are required.
Objective: To investigate the maternal and infant outcomes of full-term pregnant patients in Wuhan, China, who were infected with 2019 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that is responsible for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-2019).
Design: Retrospective case series.
Setting: The Central Hospitals of Wuhan, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China.
Participants: Twenty one full-term pregnant patients who were admitted to the Central Hospital of Wuhan, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-2019 with laboratorial and clinical methods, were reviewed by our medical team, and the data were collected from January 20, 2020 to February 29, 2020.
Main clinical data collection: Clinical data had been collecting using a standard case report form, such as epidemiological history, clinical manifestations, auxiliary examination of major laboratory and clinic, etc. All the information was collected and confirmed by our medical team.
Results: Twenty one full-term pregnant patients were reviewed (median age 29 years), and no patients were admitted to intensive care unit (ICU), and died during the treating progress. According to our review, all the cases were infected by human to human transmission, and the most common symptoms at onset of illness were cough in 17 (80.95%), fatigue in 10 (47.62%), fever in 7 (33.33%), expectoration in 1 (4.76%), and only one patient (4.76%) developed shortness of breath on admission. The median time from exposure to onset of illness was 10 days (interquartile range 7 -2 days), and from onset of symptoms to first hospital admission was 1 day (interquartile range 1-2 days).
Conclusions: As of February 29, 2020, all the patients who were full-term pregnancy combined with COVID-2019 were cured and delivered successfully, and all the newborns were not infected with SARS-CoV-2, and there were no evidence of mother-to-child transmission.
We report the clinical history, laboratory findings, and imaging features of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in a neonate whose mother was also a patient. The newborn was the youngest patient with COVID-19 in the world at the time he was diagnosed. This case has brought more attention and understanding to the epidemic and mode of transmission of the disease.
Background: There is little evidence about how novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) affects pregnant women and their newborns. Comparisons with other members of the coronavirus family responsible for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) have been done to predict maternal and neonatal outcomes; however, more information is required to establish clinical patterns, disease evolution and pregnancy prognosis in this group of patients.
Methods: This paper is reporting a series of 91 women diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy and puerperium. The analysis showed that 40 patients developed pneumonia, bilateral in most cases, with a 46.2% rate of hospitalization and 4 patients requiring intensive care unit (ICU) admission. In confront with previous publications, we have found a higher rate of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) severe forms, even when compared to non-pregnant women with the same baseline characteristics. We have analyzed the demographic characteristics, pregnancy-related conditions and presenting symptoms to identify features that could determine which patients will need hospitalization because of COVID-19 (Group 1-G1) and those who not (Group 2-G2). We have found that obesity and Latin-American origin behave as risk factors: OR: 4.3; 95% CI: 1.4-13.2, and OR: 2.6; 95% CI: 1.1 - 6.2, respectively. Among the 23 patients that delivered with active SARS-CoV-2, the overall rate of cesarean section (CS) and preterm birth were 52.2% and 34.8%, respectively, but we observed that the rate of CS was even higher in G1 compared to G2: 81.8% versus 25%, p = .012. However, prematurity was equally distributed in both groups and only one preterm delivery was determined by poor maternal condition. There were no deaths among the patients neither their newborns.
Conclusion: In conclusion, the results of our cohort reveal that SARSC-CoV-2 infection may not behave as mild as suggested during pregnancy, especially when factors as obesity or Latin-American origin are present. No evidence of late vertical transmission was noticed but prematurity and high CS rate were common findings, although it is difficult to establish any causality between these conditions and COVID-19. Further evidence is required to establish if pregnancy itself can lead to severe forms of COVID-19 disease and whether risk factors for the general population are applicable to obstetric patients. Until larger studies are available, pregnant women should be monitored carefully to anticipate severe complications.
Aim: In Hokkaido, Japan, the number of people suffering from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is rapidly increased, and by the end of February 2020, there were already 70 confirmed cases of the disease. We investigated the safety of urgently initiated maternal telemedicine in preventing the spread of the coronavirus infection.
Methods: This retrospective, single-institution study examined maternal telemedicine at the department of obstetrics of the Hokkaido University Hospital from March 4 to April 2, 2020. The physicians remotely examined the pregnant women from their homes using a visual communication system which kept communication confidential, performed prenatal checkup and administered medical care according to their various blood pressures, weights and cardiotocograms.
Results: Forty-four pregnant women received a total of 67 telemedicine interventions. Thirty-two pregnant women (73%) had complications, and 22 were primiparas (50%). Telemedicine interventions were provided 19 times at less than 26 weeks of gestation, 43 times between 26 and 36 weeks of gestation and 5 times after 37 weeks of gestation. There was one case with an abnormality diagnosed during the remote prenatal checkups, and the patient was hospitalized on the same day. However, there were no abnormal findings observed in mothers and children during the other 66 remote prenatal checkups and medical care.
Conclusion: Maternal telemedicine can be safely conducted in pregnant women who are at risk of having an underlying disorder or fetal abnormality 1 month following the start of the attempt. It should be considered as a form of maternal medical care to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Background: The emerging evidence for the asymptomatic carriers of SARS-CoV-2 infection emphasized the critical need for universal screening of pregnant women.Objectives: This study aimed to present the prevalence of overall and asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection rates in pregnant women admitted to the hospital, and assess the diagnostic accuracy of maternal symptoms and lung ultrasound (LUS) findings in detecting the infection.Patients and methods: This prospective cohort study was conducted at a single tertiary centre in Istanbul, Turkey, for a month period starting from 27th April, 2020. Women with a confirmed pregnancy regardless of the gestational week admitted to the obstetric unit with any indication were consecutively underwent LUS and PCR testing for SARS-CoV-2.Results: A total of 296 patients were included for the final analysis. The universal screening strategy diagnosed 23 pregnant women (7.77%) with SARS-CoV-2 infection. The rate of symptomatic and asymptomatic patients diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 was found as 3.72% (n = 11) and 4.05% (n = 12), respectively. Four of nine women who underwent a second testing for SARS-CoV-2 upon abnormal LUS findings were found positive eventually (17.4%, n = 4/23). The asymptomatic pregnant women with LUS score of 1 and those with normal LUS findings were considered as likely to be normal. Symptomatic patients with LUS score of 1 and those with score of 2 or 3 were considered as abnormal. On a secondary diagnostic performance analysis, the positive predictive value and the sensitivity were found as 44% and 47.8% for the triage based on maternal symptoms and, 82.3% and 60.9% for the triage based on LUS, respectively.Conclusion: A one-month trial period of universal testing for SARS-CoV-2 infection with RT-PCR in pregnant women who admitted to the hospital showed an overall and asymptomatic infection diagnose rate of 7.77% and 4%, respectively. Using lung ultrasound was found more predictive in detecting the infection than the use of symptomatology solely.
Background: Over 4.2 million confirmed cases and more than 285,000 deaths, COVID-19 pandemic continues to harm significant number of people worldwide. Several studies have reported the impact of COVID-19 in general population; however, there is scarcity of information related to pharmacological management and maternal and perinatal outcomes during the pandemic. Altered physiological, anatomical, and immunological response during pregnancy makes it more susceptible to infections. Furthermore, during pregnancy, a woman undergoes multiple interactions with the health care system that increases her chance of getting infected; therefore, managing pregnant population presents a unique challenge.
Research questions: This systematic review seeks to answer the following questions in relation to COVID-19: What are the different clinical characteristics presented in maternal and perinatal population? What are the different maternal and perinatal outcome measures reported? What are the distinct therapeutic interventions reported to treat COVID-19? Is it safe to use "medications" used in the treatment of COVID-19 during antenatal, perinatal, postnatal, and breastfeeding?
Method: The search will follow a comprehensive, sequential three step search strategy. Several databases relevant to COVID-19 and its impact on pregnancy including Medline, CINAHL, and LitCovid will be searched from the inception of the disease until the completion of data collection. The quality of this search strategy will be assessed using Peer Review of Electronic Search Strategies Evidence-Based Checklist (PRESS EBC). An eligibility form will be developed for a transparent screening and inclusion/exclusion of studies. All studies will be sent to RefWorks, and abstraction will be independently performed by two researchers. Risk of bias will be assessed using Cochrane Risk of Bias tool for randomized controlled trials, Newcastle-Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale for non-randomized studies, and for case reports, Murad et al. tool will be used. Decision to conduct meta-analysis will be based on several factors including homogeneity and outcome measures reported; otherwise, a narrative synthesis will be deemed appropriate.
Discussion: This systematic review will summarize the existing data on effect of COVID-19 on maternal and perinatal population. Furthermore, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first systematic review addressing therapeutic management and safety of medicines to treat COVID-19 during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Despite wide diversity and scope, the ethical dimensions relevant to infections in pregnancy remain little explored. Important questions span topics with personal or wider societal and public health impact. The conceptualization of the status and responsibilities of the pregnant woman and the legitimate limits of third-party interests are key determinants of our appreciation of applicable ethical obligations.
Objective: The appearance of new infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, poses a challenge in monitoring pregnancy and preventing obstetric and neonatal complications. A scoping review has the objective to review the information available in pregnant women infected with the MERS-CoV, SARSCoV, SARS-CoV-2 coronaviruses to assess the similarities in terms of and differences in the clinical characteristics of the mothers and neonatal outcomes.
Methods: We carried out a bibliographic search (scoping review) according to the PRISMA guidelines between March and April 2020 in the MEDLINE, SciELO, and CUIDEN databases and the Elsevier COVID-19 Information Center. Results: We analyzed 20 articles with a total of 102 cases. 9 of MERS-CoV, 14 of SARS-CoV and 79 of SARS-CoV-2. Fever (75.5%) and pneumonia (73.5%) were the most frequent symptoms in infected pregnant women. The most frequent obstetric complications were the threat of premature delivery (23.5%) and caesarean section (74.5%). No vertical transmission was documented in any of the infants.
Conclusions: All three coronaviruses produce pneumonia with very similar symptoms, being milder in the case of SARSCoV2. Despite documented obstetric complications, neonatal outcomes are mostly favorable. Increased knowledge is needed to improve and prevent obstetric and neonatal complications from these infections in pregnant women.
Background: In March 2020, COVID-19 was declared to be a pandemic. While data suggests that COVID-19 is not associated with significant adverse health outcomes for pregnant women and newborns, the psychological impact on pregnant women is likely to be high.
Aim: The aim was to explore the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Italian pregnant women, especially regarding concerns and birth expectations.
Methods: A cross-sectional online survey of pregnant women in Italy was conducted. Responses were analysed for all women and segregated into two groups depending on previous experience of pregnancy loss. Analysis of open text responses examined expectations and concerns before and after the onset of the pandemic.
Findings: Two hundred pregnant women responded to the first wave of the survey. Most (n=157, 78.5%) had other children and 100 (50.0%) had a previous history of perinatal loss. 'Joy' was the most prevalent emotion expressed before COVID-19 (126, 63.0% before vs 34, 17.0% after; p<0.05); fear was the most prevalent after (15, 7.5% before vs 98, 49.0% after; p<0.05). Positive constructs were prevalent before COVID-19, while negative ones were dominant after (p<0.05). Across the country, women were concerned about COVID-19 and a history of psychological disorders was significantly associated with higher concerns (p<0.05). A previous pregnancy loss did not influence women's concerns.
Conclusions: Women's expectations and concerns regarding childbirth changed significantly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy. Women with a history of psychological disorders need particular attention as they seem to experience higher levels of concern.
Background: There is a growing need for information regarding maternal and neonatal outcomes during coronavirus pandemic. In this study, a comprehensive investigation was done regarding the possibility of vertical transmission using the available data in the literature.
Methods: A systematic search was conducted using electronic databases, including PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, Embase, and Scholar. All studies containing infected COVID-19 pregnant women who had given birth were included, and the search was done up to April 14, 2020.
Results: Overall, 21 articles were reviewed, and clinical characteristics of 90 pregnant patients and 92 neonates born to mothers infected with COVID-19 were reviewed. The most common symptoms included fever, cough, and dyspnea. The main laboratory findings included leukocytosis, lymphopenia, thrombocytopenia, and elevated C-reactive protein. The most commonly reported complications were preterm labor and fetal distress. Three mothers were admitted to ICU and required mechanical ventilation; among them, one died, and one was on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Overall, 86 neonates were tested for the possibility of vertical transmission and 82 cases were negative in RT-PCR, while 4 were positive. Out of 92 neonates, one died, and one was born dead. Nineteen patients reported having no symptoms, while breathing problems and pneumonia were reported as the most common neonatal complications.
Conclusion: There were no differences in the clinical characteristics of pregnant women and non-pregnant COVID-19 patients. COVID-19 infection has caused higher incidence of fetal distress and premature labor in pregnant women. Although the possibility of vertical transmission in infected pregnant women is rare, four neonates' test results for COVID-19 infection were positive in this review.
Background: Immunologic dysfunction due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is closely related to clinical prognosis, and the inflammatory response of pregnant women may affect the directional differentiation and function of fetal immune cells.
Objective: We sought to analyze the immune status of newborns from mothers with COVID-19 in the third trimester.
Methods: Along with collecting the clinical data from 51 newborns and their respective mothers, we recorded the immunophenotypes and cytokine and immunoglobulin levels of the newborns.
Results: None of the 51 newborns showed fever or respiratory distress during hospitalization. Detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 nucleic acid in pharyngeal swabs was negative. Except for the low level of CD16-CD56 cells, the count and proportion of lymphocytes, CD3, CD4, CD8, and CD19 were all in the normal range. Moreover, the serum IgG and IgM levels were within the normal range, whereas IL-6 showed increased levels. There was no correlation between maternal COVID-19 duration and the lymphocyte subsets or cytokine levels (IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, and TNF-α). There was a positive correlation between IL-6 and IL-10 levels and CD16-CD56 cells. One (1.96%) infant with an extremely elevated IL-6 concentration developed necrotizing enterocolitis in the third week after birth, and the remaining 50 infants did not show abnormal symptoms through the end of the follow-up period.
Conclusions: COVID-19 in the third trimester did not significantly affect the cellular and humoral immunity of the fetus, and there was no evidence that the differentiation of lymphocyte subsets was seriously unbalanced.
There is limited information about newborns with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. Particularly in the hospital after delivery, clinicians have refined practices in order to prevent secondary infection. While guidance from international associations is continuously being updated, all facets of care of neonates born to women with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 are center-specific, given local customs, building infrastructure constraints, and availability of protective equipment. Based on anecdotal reports from institutions in the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic close to our hospital, together with our limited experience, in anticipation of increasing numbers of exposed newborns, we have developed a triage algorithm at the Penn State Hospital at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center that may be useful for other centers anticipating a similar surge. We discuss several care practices that have changed in the COVID-19 era including the use of antenatal steroids, delayed cord clamping (DCC), mother-newborn separation, and breastfeeding. Moreover, this paper provides comprehensive guidance on the most suitable respiratory support for newborns during the COVID-19 pandemic. We also present detailed recommendations about the discharge process and beyond, including providing scales and home phototherapy to families, parental teaching via telehealth and in-person education at the doors of the hospital, and telehealth newborn follow-up.
The COVID-19 pandemic has required rapid transformation and adaptation of healthcare services. Women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) are one of the largest high-risk groups accessing antenatal care. In reformulating the care offered to those with GDM, there is a need to balance the sometimes competing requirement of lowering the risk of direct viral transmission against the potential adverse impact of service changes. We suggest pragmatic options for screening of GDM in a pandemic setting based on blood tests, and risk calculators applied to underlying risk factors. Alternative models for antenatal care provision for women with GDM, including targeting high-risk groups, early lifestyle interventions and remote monitoring are provided. Testing options and their timing for postpartum screening in women who had GDM are also considered. Our suggestions are only applicable in a pandemic scenario, and usual guidelines and care pathways should be re-implemented as soon as possible and appropriate.
Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has already led to major increases in unemployment and is expected to lead to unprecedented increases in poverty and food and nutrition insecurity, as well as poor health outcomes. Families where young children, youth, pregnant and lactating women live need to be protected against the ongoing protracted pandemic and the aftershocks that are very likely to follow for years to come. The future wellbeing of the vast majority of the world now depends on reconfiguring the current ineffective food, nutrition, health, and social protection systems to ensure food and nutrition security for all. Because food, nutrition, health, and socio-economic outcomes are intimately inter-linked, it is essential that we find out how to effectively address the need to reconfigure and to provide better intersecoral coordination among global and local food, health care, and social protection systems taking equity and sutainability principles into account. Implementation science research informed by complex adaptive sytems frameworks will be needed to fill in the major knowledge gaps. Not doing so will not only put the development of individuals at further risk, but also negatively impact on the development potential of entire nations and ultimately our planet.
The outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has become a major pandemic threat worldwide. Such a public health emergency can greatly impact various aspects of people's health and lives. This paper focuses on its potential risks for reproductive health, including the reproductive system and its functioning, as well as gamete and embryo development, which could be affected by the virus itself, drug treatments, chemical disinfectants and psychological effects related to panic during the COVID-19 outbreak.
It can be misleading to think that the new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) which has a very strong mutation and adaptation capabilities, uses only the angiotensin-converting enzyme II (ACE2) pathway to reach target cells. Despite all the precautions taken, the pandemic attack continues and the rapid increase in the number of deaths suggest that this virus has entered the cell through different pathways and caused damage through different mechanisms. The main reason why the ACE2 pathway comes to the fore in all scientific studies is that this receptor is located at the entry point of basic mechanisms that provide alveolo-capillary homeostasis. SARS-CoV-2 has to use nuclear factor-κB (NF-kB), caveloae, clathrin, lipoxin, serine protease and proteasome pathways in addition to ACE2 to enter the target cell and initiate damage. For this reason, while new drug development studies are continuing, in order to be beneficial to patients in their acute period, it is imperative that we are able to come up with drugs that activate or inhibit these pathways and are currently in clinical use. It is also critical that we adopt these new pathways to the treatment of pregnant women affected by SARS-CoV-2, based on the scientific data we use to treat the general population.
A maternal woman was positive for SARS-CoV-2 tested in throat swabs but negative tested in other body fluids, and she had IgG and IgA detected in breast milk. Her infant negative for SARS-CoV-2 at birth had elevated IgG in serum but quickly decayed. These findings suggest that breastfeeding might have the potential benefit to the neonates. here.
The new coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2, SARS-CoV-2) is a virus that causes a potentially serious respiratory disease that has spread in several countries, reaching humans in all age groups, including pregnant women. The purpose of this protocol is to provide technical and scientific support to Brazilian obstetricians regarding childbirth, postpartum and abortion care during the pandemic.
Objective: To identify cell types in the male and female reproductive systems at risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection because of the expression of host genes and proteins used by the virus for cell entry.
Design: Descriptive analysis of transcriptomic and proteomic data.
Setting: Academic research department and clinical diagnostic laboratory.
Patient(s): Not applicable (focus was on previously generated gene and protein expression data).
Main outcome measure(s): Identification of cell types coexpressing the key angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2) genes and proteins as well as other candidates potentially involved in SARS-CoV-2 cell entry.
Result(s): On the basis of single-cell RNA sequencing data, coexpression of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 was not detected in testicular cells, including sperm. A subpopulation of oocytes in nonhuman primate ovarian tissue was found to express ACE2 and TMPRSS2, but coexpression was not observed in ovarian somatic cells. RNA expression of TMPRSS2 in 18 samples of human cumulus cells was shown to be low or absent. There was general agreement between publicly available bulk RNA and protein datasets in terms of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 expression patterns in testis, ovary, endometrial, and placental cells.
Conclusion(s): These analyses suggest that SARS-CoV-2 infection is unlikely to have long-term effects on male and female reproductive function. Although the results cannot be considered definitive, they imply that procedures in which oocytes are collected and fertilized in vitro are associated with very little risk of viral transmission from gametes to embryos and may indeed have the potential to minimize exposure of susceptible reproductive cell types to infection in comparison with natural conception.
Objective: The aim of this study was to collect and analyze data from different sources to have a general overview of COVID-19-related maternal deaths in Brazil, as well as to compare data with worldwide reports.
Study design: We systematically searched data about COVID-19 maternal deaths from the Brazilian Ministry of Health surveillance system, State Departments of Health epidemiological reports, and media coverage. Data about timing of symptom onset and death (pregnancy or postpartum), gestational age, mode of birth, maternal age, comorbidities and/or risk factors, date of death, and place of death were retrieved when available.
Results: We identified 20 COVID-19-related maternal deaths, age range 20-43 years. Symptoms onset was reported as on pregnancy for 12 cases, postpartum for 3 cases, and during the cesarean section for 1 case (missing data for 4). In 16 cases, death occurred in the postpartum period. At least one comorbidity or risk factor was present in 11 cases (missing data for 4). Asthma was the most common risk factor (5/11). Ten cases occurred in the Northeast region, and nine cases occurred in the Southeast region (5 of them in São Paulo, the first epicenter of COVID-19 in the country).
Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge, this is the largest available series of maternal deaths due to COVID-19. Barriers to access healthcare, differences in pandemic containment measures in the country and high prevalence of concomitant risk factors for COVID-19 severe disease may play a role in the observed disparity compared to worldwide reports on maternal outcomes.
Objective: This study aimed to describe the emergency responses to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) for pregnant patients at our hospital and their effect on hospital operations and patients' outcomes.
Methods: We developed strategies to prevent hospital-associated transmission of COVID-19 in obstetric care. Infrastructure, including the fever clinic and wards, were modified. Outpatient volume was controlled and screening processes were strictly performed. Verification of the virus was compulsory for non-surgery and non-emergency patients. Emergency operations were performed in a negative pressure theater with surgeons fully protected. Outcomes were analyzed and the patients' characteristics were evaluated. The effect of intervention on depressed and anxious patients was assessed. Data from the first 2 months of 2019 and 2020 were compared.
Results: No in-hospital COVID-19 infections occurred in our unit. During the epidemic, patient volume significantly decreased. While major characteristics of patients were similar, a higher prevalence of gestational hypertension was found in 2020 than in 2019. Psychological interventions showed optimistic effects in ameliorating depression and anxiety at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Conclusions: Our strategies were effective in preventing in-hospital infection of COVID-19 and reassuring women about the safety of pregnancy. Monitoring and managing psychological issues were necessary during this critical period.
Aim: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a need for substantial changes in the procedures for accessing healthcare services. Even in the current pandemic, we should not reduce our attention towards the diagnosis and treatment of GDM. The purpose of this document is to provide a temporary guide for GDM screening, replacing the current guidelines when it is not possible to implement standard GDM screening because of an unfavorable risk/benefit ratio for pregnant women or when usual laboratory facilities are not available.
Data synthesis: At the first visit during pregnancy, we must exclude the presence of "Overt diabetes" in all women. The criteria for the diagnosis of overt diabetes are either fasting plasma glucose ≥126 mg/dL, or random plasma glucose ≥200 mg/dL, or glycated hemoglobin ≥6.5%. When the screening procedure (OGTT) cannot be safely performed, the diagnosis of GDM is acceptable if fasting plasma glucose is ≥ 92 mg/dL. In order to consider the impaired fasting glucose as an acceptable surrogate for the diagnosis of GDM, the fasting glucose measurement should be performed within the recommended time windows for the risk level (high or medium risk).
Conclusions: The changes to the screening procedure for GDM reported below are specifically produced in response to the health emergency of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, these recommended changes should cease to be in effect and should be replaced by current national guidelines when the healthcare authorities declare the end of this emergency.
The clinical implications of COVID-19 in pregnancy remain unknown. While preliminary reports demonstrate that pregnant patients have a similar symptomatic presentation to the general population, the appropriate management and timing of delivery in these patients is still unclear, as pregnancy may impose additional risk factors and impede recovery in gravid patients. In this brief report, we present a case of COVID-19 in a pregnant patient with severe respiratory compromise, whose clinical status significantly improved after caesarean delivery. We also address the potential benefits of experimental therapy, including tocilizumab, a monoclonal antibody that targets interleukin-6 receptors.
Limited data are available for pregnant women affected by SARS-CoV-2. Serological tests are critically important to determine exposure and immunity to SARS-CoV-2 within both individuals and populations. We completed SARS-CoV-2 serological testing of 1,293 parturient women at two centers in Philadelphia from April 4 to June 3, 2020. We tested 834 pre-pandemic samples collected in 2019 and 15 samples from COVID-19 recovered donors to validate our assay, which has a ~1% false positive rate. We found 80/1,293 (6.2%) of parturient women possessed IgG and/or IgM SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies. We found race/ethnicity differences in seroprevalence rates, with higher rates in Black/non-Hispanic and Hispanic/Latino women. Of the 72 seropositive women who also received nasopharyngeal polymerase chain reaction testing during pregnancy, 46 (64%) were positive. Continued serologic surveillance among pregnant women may inform perinatal clinical practices and can potentially be used to estimate seroprevalence within the community.
Those who are infected with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-related CoronaVirus-2 are theoretically at increased risk of venous thromboembolism during self-isolation, if they have reduced mobility or are dehydrated. Should patients develop coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pneumonia requiring hospital admission for treatment of hypoxia, the risk for thromboembolic complications increases greatly. These thromboembolic events are the result of at least two distinct mechanisms - microvascular thrombosis in the pulmonary system (immunothrombosis) and hospital-associated venous thromboembolism. Since pregnancy is a prothrombotic state, there is concern regarding the potentially increased risk of thrombotic complications among pregnant women with COVID-19. To date however, pregnant women do not appear to have a substantially increased risk of thrombotic complications related to COVID-19. Nevertheless, several organizations have vigilantly issued pregnancy-specific guidelines for thromboprophylaxis in COVID-19. Discrepancies between these guidelines reflect the altruistic wish to protect patients and lack of high-quality evidence available to inform clinical practice. Low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) is the drug of choice for thromboprophylaxis in pregnant women with COVID-19. However, its utility in non-pregnant patients is only established against venous thromboembolism, as LMWH may have little or no effect on immunothrombosis. Decisions about initiation and duration of prophylactic anticoagulation in the context of pregnancy and COVID-19 must take into consideration disease severity, outpatient versus inpatient status, temporal relationship between disease occurrence and timing of childbirth, and the underlying prothrombotic risk conferred by additional comorbidities. There is currently no evidence to recommend the use of intermediate or therapeutic doses of LMWH in thromboprophylaxis, which may increase bleeding risk without reducing thrombotic risk in pregnant patients with COVID-19. Likewise, there is no evidence to comment on the role of low-dose aspirin in thromboprophylaxis or of anti-cytokine and antiviral agents in preventing immunothrombosis. These unanswered questions are being studied within the context of clinical trials.
Coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 is an emerging viral disease caused by a member of the betacoronavirus family, SARS-CoV-2. Since its' emergence in December 2019, it has rapidly caused close to half a million fatalities globally. Data regarding the impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy are limited. Here, we review pathological findings in placentas from women who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 as well as information on pregnancy outcomes associated with related and highly pathogenic coronaviruses (I.e, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-COV) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome, MERS). We present immune-inflammatory correlates of COVID-19 in pregnancy and review the role of the Renin Angiotensin System in the pathogenesis of COVID-19 in pregnancy. Greater understanding of the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV2 in the placenta will yield important insight into potential therapeutic interventions for pregnant women with COVID-19.
Objectives Asymptomatic women admitted to labor may act as silent spreaders of COVID-19. Therefore, universal screening at admission has been proposed. The objective of the study was to evaluate the performance of universal screening for SARS-CoV-2 using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase-chain-reaction (qRT-PCR) tests in women admitted to labor. Methods Observational retrospective study of a cohort of pregnant women admitted to labor and delivery between April 8 and May 2, 2020 in a large maternity in Madrid. SARS-CoV-2 screening with qRT-PCR from combined nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs was carried out systematically. Screening performance was described. Results We attended 212 deliveries. Nine cases with COVID-19 diagnosis before admission were excluded. In the remaining 203 women, seven referred COVID-19-related symptoms but only one had a positive qRT-PCR. Among the 194 asymptomatic women, only one case (0.5%) was positive. Conclusions The percentage of positive tests in asymptomatic women admitted to delivery was only 0.5% during the post-peak period.
Objective: To evaluate the course and effect of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on pregnant women followed up in a Turkish institution.
Methods: A prospective, single tertiary pandemic center cohort study was conducted on pregnant women with confirmed or suspected severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Positive diagnosis was made on a real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay of a nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal specimen. Demographic features, clinical characteristics, and maternal and perinatal outcomes were evaluated.
Results: SARS-CoV-2 was suspected in 100 pregnant women. Of them, 29 had the diagnosis confirmed by RT-PCR. Eight of the remaining 71 cases had clinical findings highly suspicious for COVID-19. Ten (34.5%) of the confirmed cases had co-morbidities. Cough (58.6%) and myalgia (51.7%) were the leading symptoms. COVID-19 therapy was given to 10 (34.5%) patients. There were no admissions to the intensive care unit. Pregnancy complications were present in 7 (24.1%) patients. Half of the births (5/10) were cesarean deliveries. None of the neonates were positive for SARS-CoV-2. Samples of breastmilk were also negative for the virus. Three neonates were admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit.
Conclusion: The clinical course of COVID 19 during pregnancy appears to be mild in the present study.
Introduction: Background cross-reactivity with other coronaviruses may reduce the specificity of COVID-19 rapid serologic tests. The vast majority of women attend prenatal care, which is a unique source of population-based blood samples appropriate for validation studies. We used stored 2018 serum samples from an existing pregnancy cohort study to evaluate the specificity of COVID-19 serologic rapid diagnostic tests.
Methods: We randomly selected 120 stored serum samples from pregnant women enrolled in a cohort in 2018 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, at least 1 year before the COVID-19 pandemic. We used stored serum to evaluate four lateral flow rapid diagnostic tests, following manufacturers' instructions. Pictures were taken for all tests and read by two blinded trained evaluators.
Results: We evaluated 120, 80, 90, and 90 samples, respectively. Specificity for both IgM and IgG was 100% for the first two tests (95% confidence intervals [CI] 97.0-100 and 95.5-100, respectively). The third test had a specificity of 98.9% (95% CI 94.0-100) for IgM and 94.4% (95% CI 87.5-98.2) for IgG. The fourth test had a specificity of 88.9% (95% CI 80.5-94.5) for IgM and 100% (95% CI 96.0-100) for IgG.
Discussion: COVID-19 serologic rapid tests are of variable specificity. Blood specimens from sentinel prenatal clinics provide an opportunity to validate serologic tests with population-based samples.
Background: COVID-19 has rapidly spread worldwide, with severe complications affecting particularly elderly and compromised subjects. Less information about COVID-19 in pregnancy has been reported so far in the literature.
Methods: Case series on pregnancies complicated by COVID-19. All cases were diagnosed at Bolognini Hospital, Seriate, Italy. These cases are presented to clarify the features of COVID-19 occurring in pregnancy.
Results: Four women had symptoms of COVID-19 during pregnancy or immediately after delivery. All cases were confirmed by oropharyngeal swab. All patients presented with fever and low saturation levels at the diagnosis. One case was transferred after diagnosis to a tertiary referral center and delivered the day after for worsening clinical conditions. In the other three cases, bilateral pneumonia was documented at the admission. Antithrombotic therapy was used in most cases. No cases of the infected neonate was reported. At 2 month follow-up, all patients were alive, three were asymptomatic while one presented neurological complication. One more case was described because suspicious for COVID-19, however, it was not confirmed by oropharyngeal swab.
Conclusions: In pregnant women, the peripheral nervous system could be affected. No case of trans-placental passage was reported. The swab could be helpful in diagnosis. The antithrombotic therapy could play a role in the positive course of COVID-19 also in pregnant women.
There are few data on the impact of COVID-19 in pregnancy, however, analyzing these data is important to guide the clinical practice, covering the early prevention, detection, patients' isolation, epidemiological investigation, diagnosis and early treatment. This is a report of three cases of COVID-19 confirmed by real-time reverse transcription - polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) of nasopharyngeal secretions collected in swabs from pregnant women in the city of Vitoria, Espirito Santo State, Brazil. In the three cases, all the patients presented with fever, one had shortness of breath, one had diarrhea, two of them reported abdominal pain and two of them had cough. The three patients progressed with a severe clinical evolution of COVID-19. The permanence in the intensive care unit (ICU) was more than 10 days. Two of them recovered and one remained in the ICU with irreversible refractory shock, multiple organ failure and died. The mode of delivery was individualized and based on the obstetric indication and severity of the maternal infection, and the cesarean section was indicated in the two severe maternal COVID-19 cases that evolved favorably. These newborns were premature and tested negative for COVID-19 by RT-PCR.
Purpose: To establish an interobserver agreement to perform lung ultrasound (LUS) on pregnant women by obstetricians with different levels of expertise, and to provide data by confirming our findings by an expert radiologist.
Methods: This prospective study was conducted in a tertiary 'Coronavirus Pandemic Hospital' in April, 2020. Pregnant women suspected of COVID-19 were included. Two experienced obstetricians blindly performed LUS on pregnant women separately and noted their scores for 14-lung zones. Following a theoretical and hands-on practical course, one experienced obstetrician, two novice obstetric-residents and an experienced radiologist blindly evaluated anonymized and randomized still-images and videoclips retrospectively. Weighted Cohen's-kappa and Krippendorff's alpha tests were used to assess the interobserver agreement.
Results: 52 pregnant women were included with confirmed diagnosis rate of 82.7% for COVID-19. A total of eligible 336 still-images and 115 videoclips were included in final analysis. Overall weighted Cohen's-Kappa values ranged between 0.706 and 0.912 for 14-anatomical landmarks. There were only 7 instances of major disagreement (>1 point) in the evaluation of pre-scored 14-anatomical zones of 52 patients (n=728). The overall agreement between radiologist and obstetricians for still images (Krippendorff's α = 0.856, 95% CI = 0.797 - 0.915) and videoclips (Krippendorff's α = 0.785, 95% CI = 0.709 - 0.861) were good.
Conclusion: The interobserver agreement between obstetricians with different levels of experience on still-images and videoclips of LUS was good. Performing LUS on pregnant women by obstetricians and interpretation of pre-performed LUS images can be considered consistent following a brief theoretical and practical course.
Background: Universal testing has been suggested as a useful strategy for a safe exit from the total lockdown, without recurrence of COVID-19 epidemic, delivering women being considered a sentinel population. Further universal testing for pregnant women may be useful in order to define appropriate access to COVID19 areas, dedicated neonatal care, and personal protective equipment.
Methods: During the period 10-26 April, all consecutive women admitted for delivery at the Maternity Hospitals of the city of Milan and in six provinces of Lombardy: Brescia, Como, Lecco Monza, Pavia, and Sondrio. areas were tested with nasopharyngeal swabs. Results and conclusion: Out of 1566 women, 49 were tested positive for SARS-Cov-2 (3.1%, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 2.3-4.0). This value is largely higher than Heath Authorities estimate. Of tested positive women, 22 (44.9%) had symptoms or reported close contacts with positive patients, that is were found at risk by the itemized questionnaire. In conclusion, routine estimate of frequency of positivity among delivering women can be consider a useful methods to monitor positivity at least in females in their fertile ages.
The COVID-19 pandemic overwhelmed health services in France during March 2020 and to cope service delivery was reduced in most disciplines. However as this was impossible for Obstetrics, COVID-19 infection had to be added to existing clinical care pathways in Necker Children's Hospital. This was further complicated by increasing number pregnancies affected by infection in addition to scientific uncertainty about the virus. Procedures based on scientific recommendations from French and international authorities were adapted to maternity care and regularly updated as the situation progressed. Weekly medical manager team meetings discussed the evolving clinical situation and initial evaluation found our procedures worked well. However, it was necessary to adapt the policy as the epidemic progressed rapidly. Shortly after the 16th March, traffic control bundling was implemented in anticipation of a dramatic increase in pregnant women affected by infection and to better protect staff. By the 18th April, with the peak of the COVID-19 epidemic receding, protocols were again readjusted to meet new service delivery requirements. Although a full debrief is yet to occur, from an operational level perspective, staff response was more than satisfactory. While preventing another epidemic maybe impossible, this experience will improve our resilience in the future.
Viral infections are common complications of pregnancy, with a wide range of obstetric and neonatal sequelae. Currently, there are limited data on whether SARS-CoV-2 is vertically transmitted in pregnant women tested positive for the virus. Here we describe a case of a known SARS-CoV-2-positive woman giving preterm birth to two fetuses with SARS-CoV-2 positive testing in placental tissue and amniotic fluid. The placental histological examinations showed chronic intervillositis and extensive intervillous fibrin depositions with ischemic necrosis of the surrounding villi.
Background: Multiple professional bodies have temporarily revised recommendations for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) testing during the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce person-to-person contact. The current Australian temporary criteria advise that if the fasting glucose is ≤4.6 mmol/L, then no glucose tolerance test (GTT) is required.
Aims: The aim of this study is to examine the extent of underdiagnosis of GDM using a fasting glucose ≤4.6 mmol/L as a cut-off to determine that a GTT is not necessary.
Materials and methods: De-identified data from pregnant women having a GTT test in the Illawarra area during a six-year period was used to determine the number of women with GDM and the proportion of positive cases that would be missed for different fasting glucose values.
Results: There were 16 522 results identified and GDM was diagnosed in 12.2%. The majority of women were more than 30 years of age (85.2%) and diagnosed at ≥20 weeks gestation (81.1%). Of those diagnosed with GDM, 29% had a fasting glucose of ≤4.6 mmol/L and would have been missed.
Conclusions: Our results show that using a fasting glucose of 4.6 mmol/L or less would miss nearly a third of women who would otherwise be diagnosed with GDM.
Caused by a novel type of virus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) constitutes a global public health emergency. Pregnant women are considered to have a higher risk of severe morbidity and even mortality due to their susceptibility to respiratory pathogens and their particular immunological state. Several studies assessing SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy reported adverse pregnancy outcomes in patients with severe conditions, including spontaneous abortion, preterm labor, fetal distress, cesarean section, preterm birth, neonatal asphyxia, neonatal pneumonia, stillbirth, and neonatal death. However, whether these complications are causally related to SARS-CoV-2 infection is not clear. Here, we reviewed the scientific evidence supporting the contributing role of Treg/Th17 cell imbalance in the uncontrolled systemic inflammation characterizing severe cases of COVID-19. Based on the recognized harmful effects of these CD4+ T cell subset imbalances in pregnancy, we speculated that SARS-CoV-2 infection might lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes through the deregulation of otherwise tightly-regulated Treg/Th17 ratios, and to subsequent uncontrolled systemic inflammation. Moreover, we discuss the possibility of vertical transmission of COVID-19 from infected mothers to their infants, which could also explain adverse perinatal outcomes. Rigorous monitoring of pregnancies and appropriate measures should be taken to prevent and treat early eventual maternal and perinatal complications.
The pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has affected more than 10 million people, including pregnant women. To date, no consistent evidence for the vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2 exists. The novel coronavirus canonically utilizes the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor and the serine protease TMPRSS2 for cell entry. Herein, building upon our previous single-cell study (Pique-Regi, 2019), another study, and new single-cell/nuclei RNA-sequencing data, we investigated the expression of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 throughout pregnancy in the placenta as well as in third-trimester chorioamniotic membranes. We report that co-transcription of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 is negligible in the placenta, thus not a likely path of vertical transmission for SARS-CoV-2. By contrast, receptors for Zika virus and cytomegalovirus, which cause congenital infections, are highly expressed by placental cell types. These data show that the placenta minimally expresses the canonical cell-entry mediators for SARS-CoV-2.
The global severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on all aspects of daily life and healthcare. Information on the infection risks for pregnant women and their offspring have so far been limited to small case series, until a large UK report on 427 SARS-CoV-2 infected pregnant women was published. Previous SARS epidemic experiences were drawn upon. Diagnostic use of real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and IgG and IgM antibody tests are fraught with concerns of non-validation and false negative results, as are sampling methodologies. Virtually no information on controls accompany these reports. Infection of the mother and baby has serious implications for obstetric and neonatal care. Information on early and late stage pregnancy infection and the relationship to severity of infection on fetal development is both useful and clearly warranted. An increasing number of reports centre around mildly infected women showing no evidence of fetal infection while a few reports suggesting vertical transmission require further validation. Vertical transmission from mother to baby however small would have profound health implications for obstetric and neonatal care and fetal abnormalities. Some data suggesting intrapartum vertical transmission from mother to baby cannot be dismissed given the lack of controls and limitations of diagnostic viral tests. This analysis covers some key early reports addressing pregnancy outcomes following SARS-CoV-2 infection.
During this ongoing global Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic, people in different regions of the world have been greatly affected. Recently delivered mothers and currently pregnant women face a dilemma during this period, since they need professional antenatal care while there are high infection risks of severe respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in hospitals. Therefore, online antenatal care would be a preferable choice for these women because it could provide pregnancy-related information and online clinic consultations. In addition, online antenatal care could help to provide relatively cheaper medical services and diminish health inequality due to its convenience and cost-effectiveness, especially in developing countries or regions. However, some pregnant women will doubt the reliability of such online information. Therefore, it is important to determine how to ensure the quality of online services and establish a stable mutual trust between pregnant women and online programs. Here we report how the COVID-19 pandemic brings not only opportunities for the development and popularization of online antenatal care programs but also challenges.
Studies published on COVID-19, pregnancy and neonate disease until 30 April 2020 are revised. We found 33 articles including 553 pregnant women and 456 deliveries. The more frequent symptoms in the pregnant women were fever, cough and dyspnoea. About two thirds deliveries were carried out via Caesarean rate; 5.9% women were admitted in the ICU and 4% required mechanic ventilation. No maternal death was reported. Prematurity occurred in 22.3% deliveries and 38.3% neonates required admission in the ICU. Only one neonatal death was reported (0.4%) and 13 neonates (3.4%) suffered COVID-19. The available information does not allow to state whether transmission to neonates occurred transplacentarily.
Background: The risk of vertical transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection remains unknown. Positive reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test results for SARS-CoV-2 infection in neonates and placental tissue have been reported, and immunoglobulin M antibodies have been detected in neonates born to mothers with infection.
Cases: The first case is a woman at 22 3/7 weeks of gestation with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) who was admitted to the intensive care unit. In the second case, the patient remained at home with mild symptoms, starting at 20 weeks of gestation. In both cases, fetal skin edema was observed on ultrasound examination while maternal SARS-COV-2 RT-PCR test results were positive and resolved when maternal SARS-COV-2 RT-PCR test results became negative. The RT-PCR test result for SARS-CoV-2 in amniotic fluid was negative in both cases. The two pregnancies are ongoing and uneventful.
Conclusion: Transient fetal skin edema noted in these two patients with COVID-19 in the second trimester may represent results of fetal infection or altered fetal physiology due to maternal disease or may be unrelated to the maternal illness.
Aim: Our aim was to describe the clinical features of mothers infected with COVID-19 and examine any potential vertical mother to newborn transmission. We also assessed how effective the discharge recommendations were in preventing transmission during the first month of life.
Methods: This multicentre descriptive study involved 16 Spanish hospitals. We reviewed the medical records of 42 pregnant women diagnosed with COVID-19 from 13 March to 29 March 2020, when they were in their third trimester of pregnancy. They and their newborn infants were monitored until the infant was one month old.
Results: Over half (52.4%) of the women had a vaginal delivery. The initial clinical symptoms were coughing (66.6%) and fever (59.5%) and one mother died due to thrombo-embolic events. We admitted 37 newborn infants to the neonatal unit (88%) and 28 were then admitted to intermediate care for organisational virus-related reasons. No infants died and no vertical transmission was detected during hospitalisation or follow up. Only six were exclusively breastfed at discharge CONCLUSION: There was no evidence of COVID-19 transmission in any of the infants born to COVID-19 mothers and the post discharge advice seemed effective. The measures to avoid transmission appeared to reduce exclusive breastfeeding at discharge.
Background: Compared with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Corona Virus Disease 2019(COVID-19) spread more rapidly and widely. The population was generally susceptible. However, reports on pregnant women infected with SARS-CoV-2 were very limited. By sharing the clinical characteristics, treatments and outcomes of 18 patients with COVID-19 during late pregnancy, we hope to provide some references for obstetric treatment and management.
Methods: A total of 18 patients with COVID-19 treated at Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University were collected. The epidemiological characteristics, clinical manifestations, laboratory tests, chest CT and pregnancy outcomes were performed for analysis. Results: 1. 18 cases of late pregnancy infected with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia were delivered at 35 + 5 weeks to 41 weeks. According to the clinical classification of COVID-19, 1 case was mild type, 16 cases were ordinary type, and 1 case was severe type. 2. According to imaging examinations: 15 (83%) cases showed unilateral or bilateral pneumonia, 2 (11%) cases had pulmonary infection with pleural effusion, and 1 (6%) case had no abnormal imaging changes. 8 (44%) cases were positive and 10 (56%) cases were negative for nasopharyngeal-swab tests of SARS-CoV-2. 3. Among the 18 newborns, there were 3 (17%) premature infants, 1 (6%) case of mild asphyxia, 5 (28%) cases of bacterial pneumonia, 1 (6%) case of gastrointestinal bleeding, 1 (6%) case of necrotizing enteritis, 2 (11%) cases of hyperbilirubinemia and 1 (6%) case of diarrhea. All the newborns were negative for the first throat swab test of SARS-CoV-2 after birth. 4. Follow-up to Mar 7, 2020, no maternal and neonatal deaths occurred.
Conclusions: The majority of patients in late term pregnancy with COVID-19 were of ordinary type, and they were less likely to develop into critical pneumonia after early isolation and antiviral treatment. Vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2 was not detected, but the proportion of neonatal bacterial pneumonia was higher than other neonatal diseases in newborns.
Background: The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is highly infectious, with the recent World Health Organization decree confirming a global public health emergency. The outcomes related to maternal and fetal health among pregnant women infected with the virus are still poorly understood. The world population has been waiting for answers and remains constantly alert about the pandemic's progress. It is not yet known what impact this pandemic experience will have on the population's mental health, especially pregnant women.
Method: We aim to understand and discuss the experiences of women who were infected by COVID-19 during pregnancy, in relation to the illness process, community relations, and social media influences. This is a qualitative study in which we will interview women who were infected by COVID-19 during pregnancy and received medical care from a tertiary university hospital specializing in women's health in Brazil. We will use the techniques of Semi-Directed Interviews of Open and In-depth Questions, socio-demographic and health data sheets, and Field Diaries. We will use purposive sampling and the criterion of theoretical saturation for its construction. The interviews will be conducted by phone or video call, with audio recorded for later transcription.
Discussion: It is expected that the results contribute to the understanding about the demands that come to the health professional of women infected by COVID-19 during pregnancy in a pandemic situation. INTRODUCTION: The disease caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) is highly infectious, with the recent declaration by the World Health Organization confirming a global public health emergency. The outcomes related to maternal and fetal health among pregnant women infected with the virus are still poorly understood. The world population has been waiting for answers and is constantly on the alert about the progress of the pandemic. It is not yet known what the impact of the pandemic experience will be on the mental health of the population, especially among pregnant women. Method: The aim of this study is to understand and discuss the experiences of women infected with COVID-19 during pregnancy, in relation to the illness process, community relations and the influence of social media. This is a qualitative study in which women infected with COVID-19 will be interviewed during pregnancy, attended at a tertiary university hospital specialized in women's health in Brazil. The techniques of Semi-Directed Interviews of Open Questions in Depth, sociodemographic and health data sheet and field diaries will be used. The sample will be selected intentionally, using the theoretical saturation criterion for its construction. The interviews will be conducted by telephone or videoconference, with audio recorded for later transcription. The treatment of the data will follow the Thematic Analysis and the results will be discussed under Health Psychology concepts, with the production of categories that answer the proposed research questions. DISCUSSION: The results are expected to contribute to the understanding of emerging demands among health professionals for women infected by COVID-19 during pregnancy in a pandemic situation.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, an optimal management of vulnerable patients, such as pregnant women, has been regarded as a challenge for healthcare professionals. Although thrombocytopaenia is considered a minor criterion for admission within an intensive care unit, a low platelet count has been observed in COVID-19 patients, including a pregnant woman, who developed severe pulmonary complications. Furthermore, thrombocytopaenia has been proposed as a potential biomarker in order to identify cases at high-risk complications. Nevertheless, thrombocytopaenia is a relatively frequent condition observed in pregnancy. In this context, a differential diagnosis is essential for the correct management of COVID-19 pregnant women.
Initial reports at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic indicated that the obstetric population did not appear to be at higher risk of developing severe symptoms of COVID-19 than the general population. However, following recent publications showing that pregnancy and the postpartum period might indeed pose additional risks for both women and babies, these preliminary observations urgently require review. Explanations for heightened risk may include relative immunodeficiency associated with maternal physiological adaptations, as well as organic response to virus infections
Background: Limited data are available on the management of pregnant women with severe or critical forms of COVID-19, such as the optimal timing of provider-initiated delivery, and post-partum care, including antithrombotic prophylaxis. We present the clinical course, pre- and post-partum management, and outcomes of two pregnant women critically ill with COVID-19.
Cases: Both women had confirmed SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia with rapid clinical decompensation that required admission to the intensive care unit, intubation, and delivery by emergency cesarean section at 32 and 29 weeks. Both patients clinically improved in the first two postoperative days, but this was followed by clinical, laboratory and radiological deterioration on the third postoperative day; however, they both improved again after full anticoagulation. This pattern suggests the possible formation of pulmonary microthrombi in the early puerperium. We discuss the challenges faced by the multiprofessional team in the management of these patients.
Conclusions: There are few resources to guide health professionals caring for pregnant women with critical COVID-19. These two cases contribute to the rapidly evolving knowledge on the management and outcomes of pregnant women with COVID-19.
Background: Limited data are available on the management of pregnant women with severe or critical forms of COVID-19, such as the optimal timing of provider-initiated delivery, and post-partum care, including antithrombotic prophylaxis. We present the clinical course, pre- and post-partum management, and outcomes of two pregnant women critically ill with COVID-19.
Cases: Both women had confirmed SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia with rapid clinical decompensation that required admission to the intensive care unit, intubation, and delivery by emergency cesarean section at 32 and 29 weeks. Both patients clinically improved in the first two postoperative days, but this was followed by clinical, laboratory and radiological deterioration on the third postoperative day; however, they both improved again after full anticoagulation. This pattern suggests the possible formation of pulmonary microthrombi in the early puerperium. We discuss the challenges faced by the multiprofessional team in the management of these patients.
Conclusions: There are few resources to guide health professionals caring for pregnant women with critical COVID-19. These two cases contribute to the rapidly evolving knowledge on the management and outcomes of pregnant women with COVID-19.
OBJECTIVE To review the immunological aspects of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in pregnancy, based on the scientific evidence currently available. METHODS An integrative review was performed by two independent researchers, based on the literature available in the MEDLINE (via PubMed) and LILACS databases, using the descriptors "pregnancy" and "COVID-19". This search included articles published up until 14th April 2020 published in English, Spanish or Portuguese. After reading the articles available in their entirety, those related specifically to the immunological aspects of the disease in pregnancy were selected. We initially found a total of 62 articles; 52 were accessed in full-text, and 5 were finally selected. RESULTS Pregnant women are more affected by respiratory diseases possibly because of physiological, immune, and anatomical changes. Some studies highlight the important shift to a T-helper lymphocyte type 2 (Th2) immune response in pregnancy, as a potential contributor to the severity in cases of COVID-19. Additionally, the cytokine storm present in severe cases leads to an increased inflammatory state, which may deteriorate the clinical prognosis in this population. Therefore, pregnant women may represent a vulnerable group to COVID-19 infection, primarily due to the immune imbalance in the maternal-fetal interface. CONCLUSION Maternal immune response probably plays an important role in the pathophysiology of this infection, although some details remain unsolved. Although further studies are needed to deeply investigate the immunological aspects of the disease in pregnancy, our findings may provide insights into the possible immune mechanisms involved in the pathophysiology of COVID-19 in pregnancy.
Background: Information regarding the incidence and characteristics of COVID-19 pneumonia amongst pregnant women is scarce.
Methods: Single-centre experience with 32 pregnant women diagnosed with COVID-19 between March 5 to April 5, 2020 at Madrid, Spain.
Findings: COVID-19 pneumonia was diagnosed in 61·5% (32/52) women. Only 18·7% (6/32) had some underlying condition (mostly asthma). Supplemental oxygen therapy was required in 18 patients (56·3%), with high-flow requirements in six (18·7%). Eight patients (25·0%) fulfilled the criteria for acute distress respiratory syndrome. Invasive mechanical ventilation was required in two patients (6·2%). Tocilizumab was administered in five patients (15·6%). Delivery was precipitated due to COVID-19 in three women (9·4%). All the newborns had a favourable outcome, with no cases of neonatal SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Severe cases of pneumonia requiring supplemental oxygen were more likely to exhibit bilateral alveolar or interstitial infiltrates on chest X-ray (55·6% vs. 0·0%; P-value = 0·003) and serum C-reactive protein (CRP) levels >10 mg/dL (33·0% vs. 0·0%; P-value = 0·05) at admission than those with no oxygen requirements.
Interpretation: Pregnant women with COVID-19 have a high risk of developing pneumonia, with a severe course in more than half of cases. The presence of bilateral kung infiltrates and elevated serum CRP at admission may identify women at-risk of severe COVID-19 pneumonia.
Objective: To describe differences in outcomes between pregnant women with and without COVID-19 DESIGN: Prospective cohort study of pregnant women consecutively admitted for delivery, and universally tested via nasopharyngeal (NP) swab for SARS-CoV-2 using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). All infants of mothers with COVID-19 underwent SARS-CoV-2 testing.
Setting: Three New York City hospitals POPULATION: Pregnant women > 20 weeks' gestation admitted for delivery METHODS: Data were stratified by SARS-CoV-2 result and symptomatic status, and summarized using parametric and nonparametric tests.
Main outcome measures: Prevalence and outcomes of maternal COVID-19; obstetric outcomes; neonatal SARS-CoV-2; placental pathology.
Results: Of 675 women admitted for delivery, 10.4% were positive for SARS-CoV-2, of whom 78.6% were asymptomatic. We observed differences in sociodemographics and comorbidities between women with symptomatic vs. asymptomatic vs. no COVID-19. Cesarean delivery rates were 46.7% in symptomatic COVID-19, 45.5% in asymptomatic COVID-19, and 30.9% without COVID-19 (p=0.044). Postpartum complications (fever, hypoxia, readmission) occurred in 12.9% of women with COVID-19 vs 4.5% of women without COVID-19 (p<0.001). No woman required mechanical ventilation, and no maternal deaths occurred. Among 71 infants tested, none were positive for SARS-CoV-2. Placental pathology demonstrated increased frequency of fetal vascular malperfusion, indicative of thrombi in fetal vessels, in women with vs. without COVID-19 (48.3% vs 11.3%, p <0.001).
Conclusion: Among pregnant women with COVID-19 at delivery, we observed increased cesarean delivery rates and increased frequency of maternal complications in the postpartum period. Additionally, intraplacental thrombi may have maternal and fetal implications for COVID-19 infections remote from delivery.
Little data are available on the management of pregnant women infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We conducted a retrospective study of 100 pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2 infection in 4 obstetric units in the Paris metropolitan area of France during March 12-April 13, 2020. Among patients, 52 (52%) were hospitalized, 10 (10%) in intensive care units (ICUs). Women with higher body mass indexes (BMIs; median 30.7 kg/m2) were more likely to be hospitalized in ICUs than other women (median BMI 26.2 kg/m2). Women hospitalized in ICUs had lower lymphocyte count at diagnosis (median 0.77 × 109 cells/L) than women not hospitalized in ICUs (median lymphocyte count 1.15 × 109 cells/L). All women requiring oxygen >5 L/min were intubated. Clinical and laboratory evaluation of SARS-CoV-2-positive pregnant women at the time of diagnosis can identify patients at risk for ICU hospitalization.
Congenitally- or perinatally-acquired viral infections can be harmful to the fetus but data are limited about prevalence and outcomes of COVID-19 disease during the first trimester of pregnancy. We report epidemiologic data from a study investigating a cohort of women who became pregnant just before or during the COVID-19 pandemic. We recruited 138 consecutive pregnant women attending for first trimester screening (11-13 weeks of gestation) at Sant'Anna Hospital, Turin, Piedmont, Italy, during the plateau and the falling phase of the COVID-19 epidemic curve. Patients were tested for SARS-CoV-2 IgM/IgG antibody levels and SARS-CoV-2 detection in sera and nasopharyngeal swab samples. COVID-19 cumulative incidence during the first trimester was of 10.1% with high prevalence of asymptomatic patients (42.8%). Similar to the course of the disease in non pregnant adults, 80-90% of infections were not severe. The prevalence of reported symptoms was four-fold higher in SARS-CoV-2 positive patients (57%) than in those negative (13%) (p<0.001), suggesting that direct self-testing should open doors to confirmatory testing for COVID-19. Our findings support the need for COVID-19 screening in early pregnancy in epidemic areas to plan materno-fetal health surveillance programs. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Objectives: The primary objectives of the study are: 1. To assess the effect of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in reducing SARS-CoV-2 viral shedding by PCR in infected pregnant women with mild symptoms. 2. To assess the efficacy of HCQ to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnant women in contact with an infected or suspected case. 3. To evaluate the effect of HCQ in preventing the development of the COVID-19 disease in asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2-infected pregnant women. The secondary objectives are: 1. To determine the effect of HCQ on the clinical course and duration of the COVID-19 disease in SARS-CoV-2-infected pregnant women. 2. To determine the impact of HCQ on the risk of hospitalization and mortality of SARS-CoV-2-infected pregnant women. 3. To assess the safety and tolerability of HCQ in pregnant women. 4. To describe the clinical presentation of SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy. 5. To describe the effects of maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection on pregnancy and perinatal outcomes by treatment group. 6. To determine the risk of vertical transmission (intra-utero and intra-partum) of SARS-CoV-2.
Trial Design: Randomized double-blind placebo-controlled two-arm multicentre clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of HCQ to prevent and/or minimize SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy. Participants will be randomized to receive a 14-day oral treatment course of HCQ or placebo, ratio 1:1.
Participants: : Study population: pregnant women undergoing routine prenatal follow up or attending emergency units at the participating hospitals who report either symptoms/signs suggestive of COVID-19 disease or close contact with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case. Inclusion criteria Women will be invited to participate in the trial and sign an informed consent if they meet the following inclusion criteria.
Intervention and comparator: Participants will be randomized to HCQ (400 mg/day for three days, followed by 200 mg/day for 11 days) or placebo (2 tablets for three days, followed by one tablet for 11 days).
Main outcomes: The primary outcome is the number of PCR-confirmed infected pregnant women assessed from collected nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs at day 21 after treatment start (one week after treatment is completed).
Randomisation: Allocation of participants to study arms will be done centrally by the trial's Sponsor (the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, ISGlobal) by block randomization. This method will ensure balanced allocation to both arms. The electronic CRF will automatically assign a study number to each participant, depending on her study group and recruitment site. Each number will be related to a treatment number, which assigns them to one of the study arms.
Blinding (masking): Participants, caregivers, investigators and those assessing the outcomes will be blinded to group assignment. Study tablets (HCQ and placebo) will be identically packaged in small opaque bottles. Numbers to be randomised (sample size): This study requires 200 SARS-CoV-2 infected and 514 contact pregnant women, randomised 1:1 with 100 and 227 respectively in each study arm.
Trial status: Protocol version 1.0, from May 8th, 2020. Recruitment is ongoing (first patient recruited the 19th May 2020 and recruitment end anticipated by December 2020).
Trial registration: EudraCT number: 2020-001587-29, registered 2 April 2020. Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT04410562 , retrospectively registered 1 June 2020.
Full protocol: The full protocol is attached as an additional file, accessible from the Trials website (Additional file 1). In the interest in expediting dissemination of this material, the familiar formatting has been eliminated; this Letter serves as a summary of the key elements of the full protocol.
Background: There are limited data regarding treatment options for pregnant women with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Case: A 35-year-old primigravid patient at 22 weeks of gestation presented with 7 days of fever, cough, anosmia, and dyspnea. Nasopharyngeal swab was positive for the novel coronavirus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and a chest X-ray demonstrated bilateral patchy infiltrates. Laboratory evaluation was notable for marked elevation of interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein concentrations. On hospital day 3, owing to increased dyspnea and oxygen requirement, the patient was treated with tocilizumab followed by 5 days of remdesivir. She responded well, recovered to room air, and was discharged home after a 9-day hospitalization.
Conclusion: Tocilizumab and remdesivir may be effective for treatment of severe COVID-19 in pregnancy, but additional data are needed to guide risk-benefit considerations.
Pregnancy and early parenthood are life-changing periods characterized by intense emotions and a high vulnerability to emotional problems. Overall, 10-20% of pregnant women and women in the early postpartum period suffer from mental health problems. In the first months of 2020, pregnant and breastfeeding women have also needed to face the COVID-19 pandemic, including the exceptional quarantine measures that have disturbed private and professional life.
This review evaluates whether pregnancy is a risk factor for COVID-19 by looking at the expression of immune markers such as immune cells and cytokines in order to have a better understanding on the pathophysiology of the disease, thus reducing maternal deaths. Pregnant women are more at risk of contracting COVID-19 due to their weakened immune system. Studies demonstrate that COVID-19 is an immune condition which is marked by reduced lymphocytes and elevated selected proinflammatory cytokines. Similar immune expression has been demonstrated in pregnancy by several studies. In addition, the placenta has been shown to possess ACE2 receptors on the villous cytotrophoblast and the syncytiotrophoblast and findings suggest that the coronavirus enters the host cells via these ACE2 receptors. The immune response in pregnancy increases the risk of contracting COVID-19. Both normal pregnancy and COVID-19 are marked by decreased lymphocytes, NKG2A inhibitory receptors, and increased ACE2, IL-8, IL-10, and IP-10 it therefore safer to conclude that pregnancy is a risk factor for COVID-19 development. Furthermore, the presence of the ACE2 receptors in the placenta may increase the risk of mother to baby transmission of the virus. Therefore, more studies investigating the link between pregnancy and COVID-19 are needed.
This paper presents a narrative review study of five popular data repositories focusing on challenges of pregnant women protection during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study concludes that the likelihood of a vertical transmission of COVID-19 infection from pregnant women to neonates was not observed. Nevertheless, it remains a serious risk for them during their earlier stage of pregnancy, thus, special attention from health professionals has been recommended.
Pregnant women are a potentially highly vulnerable population due to anatomical, physiological and immunological changes under the Covid-19 pandemic. Issues related to pregnancy with Covid-19 attracted widespread attention from researchers. A large number of articles were published aiming to elaborate clinical characteristics and outcomes of pregnant women infected with Covid-19, in order to provide evidence for management. The existing data suggest that the overall prognosis of pregnancy with Covid-19 is promising when compared with that of other previous coronaviruses. There is still maternal morbidity and mortality related to Covid-19 reported. However, the optimal management of severe and critically ill cases of Covid-19-infected-pregnancy is poorly clarified. The possibility of postpartum exacerbation in pregnancy with Covid-19 is also worthy of attention for obstetricians. This review makes further elaboration of the above issues.
For last months, humanity has faced a formidable unknown enemy, which is presented as a new coronavirus infection. Despite the fact that the causative agents of new diseases appear at a certain frequency and that the virus SARS-CoV-2 has certain common properties with its predecessors, at the moment we are dealing with a new unknown pathogenesis of the development of severe complications in patients with risk factors. A final understanding of pathological process mechanisms is the goal of the scientific community. Summarizing research data from different countries, it became obvious that in severe cases of viral infection, we are dealing with a combination of the systemic inflammatory response syndrome, disseminated intravascular coagulation and thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA). Thrombotic microangiopathy is represented by a group of different conditions in which thrombocytopenia, hemolytic anemia, and multiple organ failure occur. The article reflects the main types of TMA, pathogenesis and principles of therapy. The main participants in the process are described in detail, including the von Willebrand factor and ADAMTS-13. Based on the knowledge available, as well as new data obtained from patients with COVID-19, we proposed possible models for the implementation of conditions such as sepsis, TMA, and DIC in patients with severe new coronavirus infection. Through a deeper understanding of pathogenesis, it will be possible to develop more effective diagnosis and therapy.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a new coronavirus, was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China and spread rapidly, affecting many other countries. The disease is now referred to as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).The Italian government declared a state of emergency on 31st January 2020 and on 11th March World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic. Although the COVID-19 incidence remained considerably lower in Sardinia than in the North Italy regions, which were the most affected, the field of prenatal screening and diagnosis was modified because of the emerging pandemic. Data on COVID-19 during pregnancy are so far limited. Since the beginning of the emergency, our Ob/Gyn Department at Microcitemico Hospital, Cagliari offered to pregnant patients all procedures considered essential by the Italian Ministry of Health. To evaluate the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on the activities of our center, we compared the number of procedures performed from 10th March to 18th May 2020 with those of 2019. Despite the continuous local birth rate decline, during the 10-week pandemic period, we registered a 20% increment of 1st trimester combined screening and a slight rise of the number of invasive prenatal procedures with a further increase in chorionic villi sampling compared to amniocentesis. Noninvasive prenatal testing remained unvariated. The request for multifetal pregnancy reduction as a part of the growing tendency of voluntary termination of pregnancy in Sardinia increased. The COVID-19 pandemic provides many scientific opportunities for clinical research and study of psychological and ethical issues in pregnant women.
Since SARS-COV-2 appeared in Wuhan City, China and rapidly spread throughout Europe, a real revolution occurred in the daily routine and in the organization of the entire health system. While non-urgent clinical services have been reduced as far aspossible, all kind of specialists turned into COVID-19 specialists. Obstetric assistancecannot be suspended and, at the same time, safety must be guaranteed. In addition, as COVID-19 positive pregnant patients require additional care, some of the clinical habits need to be changed to face emerging needs for a vulnerable but unstoppable kind of patients. We report the management set up in an Obstetrics and Gynecology Unit during the COVID-19 era in a University Hospital in Milan, Italy.
Background: Studies on COVID-19 infection in pregnancy thus far have largely focused on characterizing maternal and neonatal clinical characteristics. However, another evolving focus is assessing and mitigating the risk of vertical transmission amongst COVID-19-positive mothers. The objective of this review was to summarize the current evidence on the vertical transmission potential of COVID-19 infection in the third trimester and its effects on the neonate.Methods: OVID MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trial (CENTRAL) were searched from January 2020 to May 2020, with continuous surveillance.Results: 18 studies met the inclusion criteria, consisting of 157 mothers and 160 neonates. The mean age of the pregnant patients was 30.8 years and the mean gestational period was 37 weeks and 1 d. Currently, there is currently no conclusive evidence to suggest that vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2 occurs. Amongst 81 (69%) neonates who were tested for SARS-CoV-2, 5 (6%) had a positive result. However, amongst these 5 neonates, the earliest test was performed at 16 h after birth, and only 1 neonate was positive when they were later re-tested. However, this neonate initially tested negative at birth, suggesting that the SARS-CoV-2 infection was likely hospital-acquired rather than vertically transmitted. 13 (8%) neonates had complications or symptoms.
Conclusions: The findings of this rapid descriptive review based on early clinical evidence suggest that vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from mother to neonate/newborn did not occur. Future studies are needed to determine the optimal management of neonates born to COVID-19-positive mothers.
There are concerns regarding the risk and the course of COVID-19 in pregnancy and in the neonates. In this review, we aimed to present the current understanding of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection during pregnancy and neonatal periods considering diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, and prevention. Few studies on pregnant women with COVID-19 have been conducted between December 2019 and April 2020. The majority of patients applied in the third trimester and presented with fever and cough. Ground-glass opacities and consolidation on computed tomography were reported to be common. COVID-19 was proposed to have a milder course than SARS and the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus in pregnant women. Hydroxychloroquine and antiproteases (lopinavir/ritonavir) were reported to be safe; however, therapeutic efficacy and safety of remdesivir still lack evidence. As ribavirin and favipiravir have teratogenic effects, there are some debates on the use of ribavirin in severe cases. There is still no clear evidence of vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2 during delivery. Occupational safety issues of pregnant healthcare workers on the frontline should be considered as their risk to develop severe pneumonia is higher because of altered maternal immune response. Knowledge about neonatal outcomes of COVID-19 was based on studies of the last trimester of pregnancy. There is much to be learnt about COVID-19 in pregnant women and in the neonates, especially concerning prognosis- and treatment-related issues.
Objective: To investigate the computed tomography (CT) characteristics and diagnostic value of novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP or COVID-19) in pregnancy.
Methods: This study included ten pregnant women infected with COVID-19, treated in the Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University from January 20, 2020 to February 6, 2020. Clinical and chest CT data were collected and clinical symptoms, laboratory indicators, and CT images were analyzed to explore CT characteristics and diagnostic value for COVID-19 during pregnancy.
Results: Laboratory examination showed that white blood cell count was normal in nine patients, and slightly higher in one patient (10.23 × 109). The lymphocyte ratio decreased in two patients by 12% and 14%, respectively. The levels of C-reactive protein was elevated in seven patients (range, 21.16-60.3 mg/L) and the levels of D-dimer was increased in eight patients (range, 507-2141 ng/mL). Six patients had low levels of total protein (range, 35.3-56.5 mg/L). Two patients showed small patchy ground glass opacity (GGO) involving single lung, while eight patients showed multilobe GGO in both the lungs, with partial consolidation. Peripheral and non-peripheral lesion distributions were seen in ten (100%) and four (40%) patients, respectively. There were four patients who had signs of intra-bronchial air-bronchogram, six patients had small bilateral pleural effusions, while none had lymphadenopathy. Dynamic observations were performed in four patients after COVID-19 treatment. Among these four patients, one patient showed normal on the initial examination, and new lesions were observed after 3 days; 1 patient showed progression after 7 days of treatment, with expansion of the lesion area; and the other 2 patients showed improvement after 14 days of treatment, with reduction in the density and area of lesions and appearance of linear opacity.
Conclusions: The CT characteristics of COVID-19 in pregnancy were mainly observed in early and progressive stages, and multiple new lesions were common. And there were consolidations of varying sizes and degrees within the lesion. Moreover, the original ground glass lesions could be fused or partially absorbed. Six patients had small bilateral pleural effusion. In summary, CT scans can play an important role in early screening, dynamic observation, and efficacy evaluation of suspected or confirmed cases of pregnant women with COVID-19.
We present a case of a 38+1 weeks pregnant patient (G1P0) with a proven COVID-19 infection, who was planned for induction of labour because of pre-existent hypertension, systemic lupus erythematosus, respiratory problem of coughing and mild dyspnoea without fever during the COVID-19 pandemic in. March 2020. To estimate the risk of vertical transmission of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoronaVirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) during labour and delivery, we collected oropharyngeal, vaginal, urinary, placental and neonatal PCRs for SARS-CoV-2 during the period of admission. All PCRs, except for the oropharyngeal, were negative and vertical transmission was not observed. Labour and delivery were uncomplicated and the patient and neonate were discharged the next day. We give a short overview of the known literature about SARS-CoV-2-related infection during pregnancy, delivery and outcome of the neonate.
Study question: Is SARS-CoV-2 receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE 2) expressed in the human endometrium during the menstrual cycle, and does it participate in endometrial decidualization?
Summary answer: ACE2 protein is highly expressed in human endometrial stromal cells during the secretory phase and is essential for human endometrial stromal cell decidualization.
What is known already: ACE2 is expressed in numerous human tissues including the lungs, heart, intestine, kidneys and placenta. ACE2 is also the receptor by which SARS-CoV-2 enters human cells.
Study design size duration: Proliferative (n = 9) and secretory (n = 6) phase endometrium biopsies from healthy reproductive-age women and primary human endometrial stromal cells from proliferative phase endometrium were used in the study.
Participants/materials setting methods: ACE2 expression and localization were examined by qRT-PCR, Western blot, and immunofluorescence in both human endometrial samples and mouse uterine tissue. The effect of ACE2 knockdown on morphological and molecular changes of human endometrial stromal cell decidualization were assessed. Ovariectomized mice were treated with estrogen or progesterone to determine the effects of these hormones on ACE2 expression.
Main results and the role of chance: In human tissue, ACE2 protein is expressed in both endometrial epithelial and stromal cells in the proliferative phase of the menstrual cycle, and expression increases in stromal cells in the secretory phase. The ACE2 mRNA ( P < 0.0001) and protein abundance increased during primary human endometrial stromal cell (HESC) decidualization. HESCs transfected with ACE2 -targeting siRNA were less able to decidualize than controls, as evidenced by a lack of morphology change and lower expression of the decidualization markers PRL and IGFBP1 ( P < 0.05). In mice during pregnancy, ACE2 protein was expressed in uterine epithelial and stromal cells increased through day six of pregnancy. Finally, progesterone induced expression of Ace2 mRNA in mouse uteri more than vehicle or estrogen ( P < 0.05).
Large scale data: N/A.
Limitations reasons for caution: Experiments assessing the function of ACE2 in human endometrial stromal cell decidualization were in vitro . Whether SARS-CoV-2 can enter human endometrial stromal cells and affect decidualization have not been assessed.
Wider implications of the findings: Expression of ACE2 in the endometrium allow SARS-CoV-2 to enter endometrial epithelial and stromal cells, which could impair in vivo decidualization, embryo implantation, and placentation. If so, women with COVID-19 may be at increased risk of early pregnancy loss.
Study fundings/competing interests: This study was supported by National Institutes of Health / National Institute of Child Health and Human Development grants R01HD065435 and R00HD080742 to RK and Washington University School of Medicine start-up funds to RK. The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
There has been significant concern regarding fertility and reproductive outcomes during the SARS-CoV2 pandemic. Recent data suggests a high concentration of SARS-Cov2 receptors, ACE2 or TMPRSS2 , in nasal epithelium and cornea, which explains person-to-person transmission. We investigated the prevalence of SARS-CoV2 receptors among reproductive tissues by exploring the single-cell sequencing datasets from uterus, myometrium, ovary, fallopian tube, and breast epithelium. We did not detect significant expression of either ACE2 or TMPRSS2 in the normal human myometrium, uterus, ovaries, fallopian tube, or breast. Furthermore, none of the cell types in the female reproductive organs we investigated, showed the co-expression of ACE2 with proteases, TMPRSS2 , Cathepsin B ( CTSB ), and Cathepsin L ( CTSL ) known to facilitate the entry of SARS2-CoV2 into the host cell. These results suggest that myometrium, uterus, ovaries, fallopian tube, and breast are unlikely to be susceptible to infection by SARS-CoV2. Our findings suggest that COVID-19 is unlikely to contribute to pregnancy-related adverse outcomes such as preterm birth, transmission of COVID-19 through breast milk, oogenesis and female fertility.
Objective: To determine the knowledge, attitude, and practice of antenatal attendees towards COVID-19 in Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Nigeria.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out among 430 consenting pregnant women attending antenatal clinics between March 1 and May 30, 2020, using pretested questionnaires.
Results: The mean age and mean gestational age of the respondents were 30.04 years (95% confidence interval [CI] 28.9-31.1) and 26.3 weeks (95% CI 23.3-29.3), respectively. More than four-fifths (82%) of the women believed that COVID-19 is real and their main source of information was mass media. The majority had adequate knowledge of COVID-19. More than half of the respondents said COVID-19 is a curable disease and that chloroquine can be used. The majority showed a good attitude and preventice practice of COVID-19 disease; however, one-fourth (24%) thought that infected individuals should be killed to prevent the spread of the virus.
Conclusion: The study population has good knowledge, attitude, and practice of COVID-19 disease. However, it is worrisome that some respondents thought that infected individuals should be killed. Proper education must be given to the populace to avert these negative attitudes while promoting a positive preventive attitude.
Objective: to map the production of knowledge regarding recommendations for providing care to pregnant women dealing with the novel coronavirus.
Method: scoping review, using a broadened strategy to search databases and repositories, as well as the reference lists in the sources used. Data were collected and analyzed by two independent reviewers. Data were analyzed and synthesized in the form of a narrative.
Results: the final sample was composed of 24 records, the content of which was synthesized in these conceptual categories: clinical manifestations, diagnosis, treatment, working pregnant women, vaccine development, complications, prenatal care, vertical transmission, and placental transmissibility. It is recommended to confirm pregnancy and disease early on, to use technological resources for screening and providing guidance and support to pregnant women.
Conclusion: recommendations emphasize isolation, proper rest, sleep, nutrition, hydration, medications, and in the more severe cases, oxygen support, monitoring of vital signs, emotional support, and multiprofessional and individualized care. Medications should be used with caution due to a lack of evidence. Future research is needed to analyze the impact of the infection at the beginning of pregnancy and the psychological aspects of pregnant women infected with the virus.
COVID-19 pandemic is affecting various areas of health care, including human reproduction. Many women with reproductive failures, during the peri-implantation period and pregnancy, are on the immunotherapy using immune modulators and immunosuppressant due to underlying autoimmune diseases, cellular immune dysfunction, and rheumatic conditions. Many questions have been raised for women with immunotherapy during the COVID-19 pandemic, including infection susceptibility, how to manage women with an increased risk of and active COVID-19 infection. SARS-CoV-2 is a novel virus, and not enough information exists. Yet, we aim to review the data from previous coronavirus outbreaks and current COVID-19 and provide interim guidelines for immunotherapy in women with reproductive failures.
Recently, in China, in 2019, a new type of disease has arisen caused by a new strain of coronavirus, the SARS-CoV-2 virus, considered extremely worrying due to its high infectivity power and the easy ability to spread geographically. For patients in general, the clinical features resulting from respiratory syndromes can trigger an asymptomatic condition. However, 25% of patients infected by SARS-CoV-2 can progress to severity. Pregnant women are an unknown field in this complex process, and although they have symptoms similar to non-pregnant women, some points should be considered, such as complications during pregnancy and postpartum. Thus, the aim of this study was to understand the consequences on pregnancy and fetal development, caused by infections by the SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 viruses. Among the aforementioned infections, MERS-CoV seems to be the most dangerous for newborns, inducing high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia, pneumonia, acute renal failure, and multiple organ failure in mother. This also causes a higher occurrence of emergency cesarean deliveries and premature births, in addition, some deaths of mothers and fetuses were recorded. Meanwhile, SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 appears to have less severe symptoms. Furthermore, although a study found the ACE2 receptor, used by SARS-CoV-2, widely distributed in specific cell types of the maternal-fetal interface, there is no evidence of vertical transmission for any of the coronaviruses. Thus, the limited reported obstetric cases alert to the need for advanced life support for pregnant women infected with coronaviruses and to the need for further investigation for application in clinical practice.
Objectives Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new respiratory disease that is spreading widely throughout the world. The aim of this study was to evaluate the psychological impact of COVID-19 pandemic on pregnant women in Italy. Methods We considered 200 pregnancies attending our antenatal clinic. A questionnaire was sent to each woman in the days of maximum spread of COVID-19. Sectional was finalized to acquire in 18 items maternal characteristics and to test the women's perception of infection. Section included the State-trait anxiety inventory (STAI) 40 items validated test for scoring trait anxiety (basal anxiety, STAI-T) and state anxiety (related to the ongoing pandemic, STAI-S). An abnormal value of STAI was considered when ≥40. Results The questionnaire was completed by 178 women (89%). Fear that COVID-19 could induce fetal structural anomalies was present in 47%, fetal growth restriction in 65% and preterm birth in 51% of the women. The median value of STAI-T was 37 and in 38.2% of the study group STAI-T score ≥40 was evidenced. STAI-S values were significantly higher with an increase of median values of 12 points (p≤0.0001). There was a positive linear correlation between STAI-T and STAI-S (Pearson=0.59; p≤0.0001). A higher educational status was associated with increased prevalence of STAI-S ≥ 40(p=0.004). Subgrouping women by the other variables considered did not show any further difference. Conclusions COVID-19 pandemic induces a doubling of the number of women who reached abnormal level of anxiety. These findings validate the role of the remote use of questionnaire for identifying women at higher risk of anxiety disorders allowing the activation of support procedures.
Continued employment of pregnant women related to COVID (Corona Virus Disease) should only be considered if the risk of infection in the workplace is not higher than that of the general population. This option should therefore be carried out after an individual risk assessment with a precise description of the patient clientele and definition of the activities to be performed.
Currently, limited data on maternal and neonatal outcomes of pregnant women with infection and pneumonia related to SARS coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are available. Our report aims to describe a case of placental swabs positive for the molecular research on severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2 RNA in an asymptomatic woman with positive rhino-pharyngeal swab for SARS-CoV-2 who underwent an urgent cesarean section in our obstetrics unit. Sample collection, processing, and laboratory testing were conducted in accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO) guidance. In the next months, conclusive data on obstetrical outcomes concerning the gestational age and pregnancy comorbidity as well as the eventual maternal-fetal transmission are needed.
Objectives: From 2016 to 2018 Florida documented 1471 cases of Zika virus, 299 of which were pregnant women (Florida Department of Health, https://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/mosquito-bornediseases/surveillance.html, 2019a). Florida's response required unprecedented rapid and continuous cross-sector communication, adaptation, and coordination. Zika tested public health systems in new ways, particularly for maternal child health populations. The systems are now being challenged again, as the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic spreads throughout Florida. This qualitative journey mapping evaluation of Florida's response focused on care for pregnant women and families with infants exposed to Zika virus.
Methods: Fifteen focus groups and interviews were conducted with 33 public health and healthcare workers who managed outbreak response, case investigations, and patient care in south Florida. Data were thematically analyzed, and the results were framed by the World Health Organization's (WHO) Healthcare Systems Framework of six building blocks: health service delivery, health workforce, health information systems, access to essential medicines, financing, and leadership and governance (World Health Organization, https://www.who.int/healthsystems/strategy/everybodys_business.pdf, 2007, https://www.who.int/healthinfo/systems/monitoring/en/, 2010).
Results: Results highlighted coordination of resources, essential services and treatment, data collection, communication among public health and healthcare systems, and dissemination of information. Community education, testing accuracy and turnaround time, financing, and continuity of health services were areas of need, and there was room for improvement in all indicator areas.
Conclusions: The WHO Framework encapsulated important infrastructure and process factors relevant to the Florida Zika response as well as future epidemics. In this context, similarities, differences, and implications for the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic response are discussed.
Objectives: To investigate the mental status of pregnant women and to determine their obstetric decisions during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Setting: Two cities in China, Wuhan (epicentre) and Chongqing (a less affected city).
Population: 1947 pregnant women.
Methods: We collected demographic, pregnancy, and epidemic information from our pregnant subjects, along with their attitudes towards COVID-19 (using a self-constructed five-point scale). The Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS) was used to assess anxiety status. Obstetric decision-making was also evaluated. The differences between cities in all of the above factors were compared, and the factors that influenced anxiety levels were identified by multivariable analysis.
Main outcome measures: Anxiety status and its influencing factors. Obstetric decision-making.
Results: Differences were observed between cities in some background characteristics and women's attitudes towards COVID-19 in Wuhan were more extreme. More women in Wuhan felt anxious (24.5% vs 10.4%). Factors that influenced anxiety also included household income, subjective symptoms, and attitudes. Overall, obstetric decisions also revealed city-based differences; these decisions mainly concerned hospital preference, time of prenatal care or delivery, mode of delivery and infant feeding.
Conclusions: The outbreak aggravated prenatal anxiety, and the associated factors could be targets for psychological care. In parallel, key obstetric decision-making changed, emphasising the need for pertinent professional advice. Special support is essential for pregnant mothers during epidemics.
As of June 16, 2020, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in 2,104,346 cases and 116,140 deaths in the United States.* During pregnancy, women experience immunologic and physiologic changes that could increase their risk for more severe illness from respiratory infections (1,2). To date, data to assess the prevalence and severity of COVID-19 among pregnant U.S. women and determine whether signs and symptoms differ among pregnant and nonpregnant women are limited. During January 22-June 7, as part of COVID-19 surveillance, CDC received reports of 326,335 women of reproductive age (15-44 years) who had positive test results for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Data on pregnancy status were available for 91,412 (28.0%) women with laboratory-confirmed infections; among these, 8,207 (9.0%) were pregnant. Symptomatic pregnant and nonpregnant women with COVID-19 reported similar frequencies of cough (>50%) and shortness of breath (30%), but pregnant women less frequently reported headache, muscle aches, fever, chills, and diarrhea. Chronic lung disease, diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular disease were more commonly reported among pregnant women than among nonpregnant women. Among women with COVID-19, approximately one third (31.5%) of pregnant women were reported to have been hospitalized compared with 5.8% of nonpregnant women. After adjusting for age, presence of underlying medical conditions, and race/ethnicity, pregnant women were significantly more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) (aRR = 1.5, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.2-1.8) and receive mechanical ventilation (aRR = 1.7, 95% CI = 1.2-2.4). Sixteen (0.2%) COVID-19-related deaths were reported among pregnant women aged 15-44 years, and 208 (0.2%) such deaths were reported among nonpregnant women (aRR = 0.9, 95% CI = 0.5-1.5). These findings suggest that among women of reproductive age with COVID-19, pregnant women are more likely to be hospitalized and at increased risk for ICU admission and receipt of mechanical ventilation compared with nonpregnant women, but their risk for death is similar. To reduce occurrence of severe illness from COVID-19, pregnant women should be counseled about the potential risk for severe illness from COVID-19, and measures to prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2 should be emphasized for pregnant women and their families.
Since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared coronavirus infection (COVID-19) a Public Health Emergency of International Concern in January 2020, there have been many concerns about pregnant women and the possible effects of this emergency with catastrophic outcomes in many countries. Information on COVID-19 and pregnancy are scarce and spread throughout a few case series, with no more than 50 cases in total. The present review provides a brief analysis of COVID-19, pregnancy in the COVID-19 era, and the effects of COVID-19 on pregnancy.
Ethical issues abound during this unprecedented international public health crisis of Covid-19. While the trade-off between societal and individual interests that occurs at the intersection of public health ethics and clinical ethics affects all populations, this calculus has particular relevance for pregnant women and the question of when they will have access to new Covid-19 therapies and vaccines. Pregnant women are a "scientifically complex" population whose inclusion in clinical research must be done with consideration of the unique state of pregnancy. Yet research on the impact of Covid-19 on pregnant women is lagging. In a rush to prevent and treat SARS-CoV-2 infection, it is crucial that the interests of pregnant women be prioritized to enable them to make autonomous, informed decisions about participating in clinical trials. The global pandemic calls for a revisiting of frameworks for the inclusion of pregnant women in research, as these women have an important stake in the prevention and treatment of Covid-19.
Background The impact of severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) on pregnancies is currently under investigation. There is a significant overlap between the clinical findings in novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelets syndrome (HELLP). Cases Patients presented at 22 and 29 weeks of gestation with suspected COVID-19 pneumonia. While the patient at 22 weeks of gestation subsequently had an intrauterine fetal demise, the patient at 29 weeks of gestation delivered via an emergency cesarean delivery for nonreassuring fetal status. Both patients also developed transaminitis, thrombocytopenia, and disseminated intravascular coagulation with a proof of hemolysis on peripheral smear. Conclusion Clinicians are encouraged to consider both of these diagnoses when caring for pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic to assure that both maternal and fetal concerns are addressed and treated appropriately.
The Novel Coronavirus disease that started in Wuhan city of China in December 2019 has emerged as one of the fastest spreading pandemics all over the world affecting millions of people and causing millions of deaths worldwide. In an attempt to control its spread, countries have imposed local and national lockdowns, affecting many healthcare services, especially sexual and reproductive health services which are actually essential and lifesaving. In near future this will result in a large number of grave consequences including increased unmet need for modern contraceptives, unintended pregnancies, increased unsafe abortions, maternal and neonatal deaths and other harmful practices like female genital mutilation and child marriages in developing countries. The present short review focusses on such issues which will be dramatically increased depending on the duration of lockdowns and the time for which the sexual and reproductive health services will remain halted. It also reflects the need for considering reproductive health services as essential, allowing the people to avail these services without any fear and hence, saving many more lives which will be lost not due to coronavirus infection. Methodology: The data was searched from various governmental and non-governmental organisation sites including the World Health Organisation, United Nations, United Nations Population Fund, Guttmacher Institute and many PubMed indexed journals.
In this issue of BJOG, Mendoza and colleagues report in an observational study the occurrence of a preeclampsia-like syndrome in six out of eight pregnant patients with novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) who were admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with severe pneumonia (Mendoza M, et al. BJOG 2020). There were no symptoms of p