Can coronavirus cause severe infections among pregnant woman?
"The authors present a highly plausible mechanism of stillbirth, namely that the virus-induced proinflammatory state ultimately led to placental abruption," said Dr Roberta L. DeBiasi, M.D., M.S., division chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Children's National Hospital.
"Taking the studies together, it's evident that if a pregnant woman gets COVID-19 they're at an increased risk of severe infection," said DeBiasi.
"They're also at increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, due to effects on the placenta, which may vary with specific circulating variants," DeBiasi added.
DeBiasi comments come based on two related studies published in the same issue, demonstrating pathologic findings in women's placentas who had COVID-19 during pregnancy.
Previous studies show that the placenta may be detrimentally affected by SARS-CoV-2 infection of the mother. However, maternal comorbidities such as hypertension, pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes could also contribute to these findings.
"Despite these previous studies, the precise mechanisms of placental injury are still not clear and require further evaluation," said Dr DeBiasi.
"Future research should include appropriate controls to better discern nonspecific versus SARS-CoV-2 specific effects and mechanisms of injury," DeBiasi added.
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