Management of parvovirus infection in pregnancy and outcomes of hydrops: a survey of members of the Society of Perinatal Obstetricians

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1998 Oct;179(4):985-8. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9378(98)70203-0.


Objective: Our purpose was to investigate the evaluation and management of parvovirus infection during pregnancy.

Study design: Surveys were mailed to members of the Society of Perinatal Obstetricians residing in the United States and Canada in July 1997. They were asked about their evaluation and management of parvovirus infection, including whether they repeated and confirmed serologic studies, what their initial and follow-up evaluations included, whether they had had any cases of parvovirus-associated hydrops in the past 2 years, and if so, what were the management and outcomes of the hydropic fetuses.

Results: Surveys were mailed to 1623 members of the Society of Perinatal Obstetricians and 541 completed surveys were returned. Sixty-eight percent of the respondents repeated and confirmed serologic studies. Eighty-nine percent used ultrasonography in their initial management of pregnant patients with recent parvovirus infection, 7.5% used amniocentesis for polymerase chain reaction, and 2% used fetal blood sampling. The outcomes of the 539 cases of parvovirus-induced hydrops included spontaneous resolution in 34%, death without intrauterine transfusion in 30%, resolution after intrauterine transfusion in 29%, death after intrauterine transfusion in 6%, and pregnancy termination in 1%. Almost all cases of nonimmune hydrops reported occurred between 16 and 32 weeks.

Conclusions: Approximately one third of the cases of parvovirus-induced nonimmune hydrops resolved spontaneously, whereas 83.5% of hydropic fetuses transfused survived.

MeSH terms

  • Amniocentesis
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Blood Transfusion, Intrauterine
  • Cordocentesis
  • DNA, Viral / analysis
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Hydrops Fetalis / therapy
  • Hydrops Fetalis / virology*
  • Parvoviridae Infections / diagnosis
  • Parvoviridae Infections / therapy*
  • Parvovirus B19, Human* / genetics
  • Parvovirus B19, Human* / immunology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / virology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal
  • alpha-Fetoproteins / analysis


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • DNA, Viral
  • alpha-Fetoproteins