Prenatal and Postnatal Zika Intrauterine Infection: Diagnostic Imaging Techniques and Placental Pathology

Fetal Pediatr Pathol. 2022 Sep 20;1-9. doi: 10.1080/15513815.2022.2118559. Online ahead of print.


Introduction: Zika virus (ZIKV) is an arbovirus (arthropod-borne virus) in the genus Flavivirus and Flaviviridae family. In November 2015, several cases of microcephaly in Northeastern of Brazil suggested ZIKV involvement. Case Report: A 33-year-old primigravida developed fever and cutaneous rash at 7th week of gestation (WGA). The ultrasound and MRI examination showed head circumference < 5th centile and enlargement of lateral ventricles. The infant was delivered at 39th WGA with microcephaly. Microscopy of the placenta showed chronic villitis and intervillitis, nodular stromal fibrosis in the stem villi, and vascular thickening. Postnatal CT showed collapsed cranium due to growth impairment of the suprathalamic brain, multiple cerebral calcifications, parenchymal atrophy, and ventricular dilatation. Now, at 6 years old, the child suffers from severe neurologic symptoms, including seizures. Conclusion: This case gathers images of prenatal and postnatal period, and placental histopathology. The long-term follow-up highlights the dramatic neurological sequelae induced by ZIKV.

Keywords: MRI; Zika virus; computed tomography; placental pathology; ultrasound.