Maternal and fetal outcomes of COVID-19, SARS, and MERS: a narrative review on the current knowledge

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2020 Sep;24(18):9748-9752. doi: 10.26355/eurrev_202009_23068.


Objective: Coronavirus infections, including SARS, MERS and COVID-19 have significant impact on global health as well as on pregnancies. The aim of this review was to enlighten and summarize the cumulative knowledge regarding the relationship between Coronavirus outbreaks and pregnancy.

Materials and methods: Literature search was commenced in order to analyze the maternofetal effects of Coronavirus outbreaks.

Results: Fever and cough are the most common presenting symptoms of COVID-19 which mostly affects pregnant women in their 3rd trimester with a maternal mortality rate of 0-77% and fetal and neonatal mortality rates of 1.2%. Fetal demise is common in critically ill pregnant. Pregnancy seems as a worsening factor for SARS and MERS epidemics and both infections affect prominently 3rd trimester pregnancies, although abortion (57%) is a significant risk for cases of early pregnancy. Clinical course of COVID-19, SARS and MERS may be rapid and worse in pregnant women than non-pregnant individuals. Cesarean section is the choice of delivery in most reported women due to mostly obstetrical reasons, although vaginal delivery seems not a worsening factor for the disease.

Conclusions: COVID-19, SARS and MERS have significant detrimental effect on pregnancy. Rapid intervention, treatment, and intensive care support are essential for infected pregnant. Timely delivery is important in order to avoid intrauterine fetal death.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus
  • Coronavirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Fetal Mortality*
  • Humans
  • Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus*
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / diagnosis
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / mortality*
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / diagnosis*

Supplementary concepts

  • COVID-19
  • severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2