Maternal and perinatal outcomes with COVID-19: A systematic review of 108 pregnancies

Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2020 Jul;99(7):823-829. doi: 10.1111/aogs.13867. Epub 2020 Apr 20.


Introduction: The pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has exposed vulnerable populations to an unprecedented global health crisis. The knowledge gained from previous human coronavirus outbreaks suggests that pregnant women and their fetuses are particularly susceptible to poor outcomes. The objective of this study was to summarize the clinical manifestations and maternal and perinatal outcomes of COVID-19 during pregnancy.

Material and methods: We searched databases for all case reports and series from 12 February to 4 April 2020. Multiple terms and combinations were used including COVID-19, pregnancy, maternal mortality, maternal morbidity, complications, clinical manifestations, neonatal morbidity, intrauterine fetal death, neonatal mortality and SARS-CoV-2. Eligibility criteria included peer-reviewed publications written in English or Chinese and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or dual fluorescence PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. Unpublished reports, unspecified date and location of the study or suspicion of duplicate reporting, cases with suspected COVID-19 that were not confirmed by a laboratory test, and unreported maternal or perinatal outcomes were excluded. Data on clinical manifestations, maternal and perinatal outcomes including vertical transmission were extracted and analyzed.

Results: Eighteen articles reporting data from 108 pregnancies between 8 December 2019 and 1 April 2020 were included in the current study. Most reports described women presenting in the third trimester with fever (68%) and coughing (34%). Lymphocytopenia (59%) with elevated C-reactive protein (70%) was observed and 91% of the women were delivered by cesarean section. Three maternal intensive care unit admissions were noted but no maternal deaths. One neonatal death and one intrauterine death were also reported.

Conclusions: Although the majority of mothers were discharged without any major complications, severe maternal morbidity as a result of COVID-19 and perinatal deaths were reported. Vertical transmission of the COVID-19 could not be ruled out. Careful monitoring of pregnancies with COVID-19 and measures to prevent neonatal infection are warranted.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; coronavirus; fever; maternal morbidity; maternal mortality; neonatal morbidity; neonatal mortality; pandemic; pregnancy; respiratory distress syndrome; virus.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus / isolation & purification*
  • COVID-19
  • Cesarean Section / statistics & numerical data*
  • Coronavirus Infections* / complications
  • Coronavirus Infections* / diagnosis
  • Coronavirus Infections* / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections* / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical / statistics & numerical data
  • Maternal Mortality
  • Pandemics* / statistics & numerical data
  • Perinatal Mortality
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / complications
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / physiopathology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious* / mortality
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious* / physiopathology
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious* / virology
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • SARS-CoV-2