Coronavirus disease 2019 in pregnant women: a report based on 116 cases

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2020 Jul;223(1):111.e1-111.e14. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2020.04.014. Epub 2020 Apr 23.


Background: The coronavirus disease 2019, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, is a global public health emergency. Data on the effect of coronavirus disease 2019 in pregnancy are limited to small case series.

Objective: To evaluate the clinical characteristics and outcomes in pregnancy and the vertical transmission potential of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection.

Study design: Clinical records were retrospectively reviewed for 116 pregnant women with coronavirus disease 2019 pneumonia from 25 hospitals in China between January 20, 2020, and March 24, 2020. Evidence of vertical transmission was assessed by testing for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in amniotic fluid, cord blood, and neonatal pharyngeal swab samples.

Results: The median gestational age on admission was 38+0 (interquartile range, 36+0-39+1) weeks. The most common symptoms were fever (50.9%, 59/116) and cough (28.4%, 33/116); 23.3% (27/116) patients presented without symptoms. Abnormal radiologic findings were found in 96.3% (104/108) of cases. Of the 116 cases, there were 8 cases (6.9%) of severe pneumonia but no maternal deaths. One of 8 patients who presented in the first trimester and early second trimester had a missed spontaneous abortion. Of 99 patients, 21 (21.2%) who delivered had preterm birth, including 6 with preterm premature rupture of membranes. The rate of spontaneous preterm birth before 37 weeks' gestation was 6.1% (6/99). One case of severe neonatal asphyxia resulted in neonatal death. Furthermore, 86 of the 100 neonates tested for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 had negative results; of these, paired amniotic fluid and cord blood samples from 10 neonates used to test for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 had negative results.

Conclusion: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection during pregnancy is not associated with an increased risk of spontaneous abortion and spontaneous preterm birth. There is no evidence of vertical transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection when the infection manifests during the third trimester of pregnancy.

Keywords: COVID-19; PTB; SARS-CoV-2; ascending infection; coronavirus; coronavirus disease 2019; pandemic; pneumonia; pregnancy; pregnancy outcomes; pregnant women; preterm birth; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; spontaneous PTB; spontaneous abortion; spontaneous preterm birth; vertical transmission.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous / virology
  • Adult
  • Amniotic Fluid / virology
  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • China
  • Coronavirus Infections / complications
  • Coronavirus Infections / pathology*
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood / virology
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / complications
  • Pneumonia, Viral / pathology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / pathology
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / virology*
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Premature Birth / virology
  • SARS-CoV-2