Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) during pregnancy in patients with rheumatic diseases

Rheumatol Int. 2020 Nov;40(11):1753-1762. doi: 10.1007/s00296-020-04698-y. Epub 2020 Sep 15.


The novel coronavirus outbreak induces many concerns about the management of pregnancy, as well as rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. The very rapid spread of the infection throughout all inhabited continents leads to a fast-growing number of infected with SARS-CoV-2 and requires answers and special recommendations to the most vulnerable group of people: pregnant woman and patients on immunomodulatory or immunosuppressive treatment. A systematic literature search was performed in Embase, MEDLINE, and Scopus database for studies describing COVID-19 infection in pregnant women diagnosed with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. From the 1,115 initially identified articles, we selected 29 publications in the English language, from which 18 were eligible according to the inclusion criteria. Limited number of cases and further researches are required to evaluate the risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from mother to her infant as well as clinical features of infection in pregnant women. The conclusions of different authors, despite the small number of cases, suggest that there is no vertical transmission in women diagnosed with COVID-19 pneumonia. Although the World Health Organization recently reported that pregnant patients do not have a higher risk of infection than the rest of the population, Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists and The Royal College of Midwives for COVID-19 infection in pregnancy published Guidelines for pregnant women with suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection.Considerations about patients with rheumatic diseases on the immunosuppressive treatment required European League Against Rheumatism, American College of Rheumatology, British Society for Rheumatology, and Australian Rheumatology Association to publish recommendations for patients with rheumatic diseases and COVID-19. These algorithms are very important to the medical society, but many concerns, absence of experience, and many questions are still unanswered and need time to be resolved and proceed successfully in this global pandemic situation.

Keywords: COVID-19; Pregnancy; Recommendations; Rheumatic diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / therapy
  • Coronavirus Infections / transmission*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / therapy
  • Pneumonia, Viral / transmission*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious* / therapy
  • Rheumatic Diseases / complications*
  • Rheumatic Diseases / drug therapy
  • SARS-CoV-2


  • Immunosuppressive Agents