Coronavirus disease 2019 in pregnancy was associated with maternal morbidity and preterm birth

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2020 Jun 15;S0002-9378(20)30639-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2020.06.022. Online ahead of print.


Background: Despite the mainly reassuring outcomes for pregnant women with coronavirus disease 2019 reported by previous case series with small sample sizes, some recent reports of severe maternal morbidity requiring intubation and of maternal deaths show the need for additional data about the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 on pregnancy outcomes.

Objective: This study aimed to report the maternal characteristics and clinical outcomes of pregnant women with coronavirus disease 2019.

Study design: This retrospective, single-center study includes all consecutive pregnant women with confirmed (laboratory-confirmed) or suspected (according to the Chinese management guideline [version 7.0]) coronavirus disease 2019, regardless of gestational age at diagnosis, admitted to the Strasbourg University Hospital (France) from March 1, 2020, to April 3, 2020. Maternal characteristics, laboratory and imaging findings, and maternal and neonatal outcomes were extracted from medical records.

Results: The study includes 54 pregnant women with confirmed (n=38) and suspected (n=16) coronavirus disease 2019. Of these, 32 had an ongoing pregnancy, 1 had a miscarriage, and 21 had live births: 12 vaginal and 9 cesarean deliveries. Among the women who gave birth, preterm deliveries were medically indicated for their coronavirus disease 2019-related condition for 5 of 21 women (23.8%): 3 (14.3%) before 32 weeks' gestation and 2 (9.5%) before 28 weeks' gestation. Oxygen support was required for 13 of 54 women (24.1%), including high-flow oxygen (n=2), noninvasive (n=1) and invasive (n=3) mechanical ventilation, and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (n=1). Of these, 3, aged 35 years or older with positive test result for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, had respiratory failure requiring indicated delivery before 29 weeks' gestation. All 3 women were overweight or obese, and 2 had an additional comorbidity.

Conclusion: Coronavirus disease 2019 in pregnancy was associated with maternal morbidity and preterm birth. Its association with other well-known risk factors for severe maternal morbidity in pregnant women with no infection, including maternal age above 35 years, overweight, and obesity, suggests further studies are required to determine whether these risk factors are also associated with poorer maternal outcome in these women.

Keywords: COVID-19 pneumonia; extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; intubation; maternal and neonatal outcomes; maternal morbidity; pregnancy; preterm birth; respiratory failure.