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Placental Histopathologic Findings of a Large Cohort of Patients With SARS-CoV-2 Infection During Pregnancy

Pregnant individuals with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are at a higher risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes. Previous small cohort studies have shown increased frequency of placental lesions associated with maternal vascular malperfusion, fetal vascular malperfusion, and inflammation among patients with SARS-CoV-2, without controlling for cardiometabolic risk factors among many such patients. We aimed to evaluate whether SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy is independently associated with placental abnormalities when controlling for risk factors that could affect placental histopathology. Retrospective cohort study of placentas from singleton pregnancies in Kaiser Permanente Northern California from March to December 2020. Pathologic findings were compared among those with confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 during pregnancy and those without. We examined the association between SARS-CoV-2 infection and categorical placental pathologies, controlling for maternal age, gestational age, prepregnancy body mass index, gestational hypertension, preeclampsia/eclampsia, preexisting diabetes, history of thrombosis, and stillbirth. A total of 2,989 singleton gestation placentas were analyzed, 416 (13%) from pregnancies with SARS-CoV-2 infection and 2,573 (86%) from those without infection. Among placentas from pregnancies with SARS-CoV-2, 54.8% had evidence of inflammation, 27.1% maternal malperfusion abnormality, 20.7% massive perivillous fibrin or chronic villitis, 17.3% villous capillary abnormality, and 15.1% fetal malperfusion. After controlling for risks factors and stratifying interval time between SARS-CoV-2 infection and delivery, no association was found between placental abnormalities and SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy. SARS-CoV-2 infection was not associated with an increased risk of placentally mediated adverse outcomes during pregnancy, compared with placentas sent for other indications, in this large diverse cohort.

Authors: Lin, Ruby; Forquer, Heather; Cviko-Pajt, Aida; Schauer, Galen M; Abellar, Rosanna G; Hedderson, Monique; Kuzniewicz, Michael W; Greenberg, Mara B

Int J Gynecol Pathol. 2023 Jan 25.

PubMed abstract

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