OBJECTIVE: The aim of this systematic review was to report pregnancy and perinatal outcomes of Coronavirus (CoV) spectrum infections, and particularly COVID-19 disease due to SARS-COV-2 infection during pregnancy.
DATA SOURCES: Medline, Embase, Cinahl and Clinicaltrials.gov databases were searched electronically utilizing combinations of word variants for “coronavirus” or “severe acute respiratory syndrome” or “SARS” or “Middle East respiratory syndrome” or “MERS” or “COVID-19” and “pregnancy”. The search and selection criteria were restricted to English language.
STUDY ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: Inclusion criteria were pregnant women with a confirmed Coronavirus related illness, defined as either SARS, MERS or COVID-19.
STUDY APPRAISAL AND SYNTHESIS METHODS: We used meta-analyses of proportions to combine data and reported pooled proportions. The pregnancy outcomes observed included miscarriage, preterm birth, pre-eclampsia, preterm prelabor rupture of membranes, fetal growth restriction, and mode of delivery. The perinatal outcomes observed were fetal distress, Apgar score < 7 at five minutes, neonatal asphyxia, admission to neonatal intensive care unit, perinatal death, and evidence of vertical transmission.
RESULTS: 19 studies including 79 women were eligible for this systematic review: 41 pregnancies (51.9%) affected by COVID-19, 12 (15.2%) by MERS, and 26 (32.9%) by SARS. An overt diagnosis of pneumonia was made in 91.8% and the most common symptoms were fever (82.6%), cough (57.1%) and dyspnea (27.0%). For all CoV infections, the rate of miscarriage was 39.1% (95% CI 20.2-59.8); the rate of preterm birth < 37 weeks was 24.3% (95% CI 12.5-38.6); premature prelabor rupture of membranes occurred in 20.7% (95% CI 9.5-34.9), preeclampsia in 16.2% (95% CI 4.2-34.1), and fetal growth restriction in 11.7% (95% CI 3.2-24.4); 84% were delivered by cesarean; the rate of perinatal death was 11.1% (95% CI 84.8-19.6) and 57.2% (95% CI 3.6-99.8) of newborns were admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit. When focusing on COVID-19, the most common adverse pregnancy outcome was preterm birth < 37 weeks, occurring in 41.1% (95% CI 25.6-57.6) of cases, while the rate of perinatal death was 7.0% (95% CI 1.4-16.3). None of the 41 newborns assessed showed clinical signs of vertical transmission.
CONCLUSION: In mothers infected with coronavirus infections, including COVID-19, >90% of whom also had pneumonia, PTB is the most common adverse pregnancy outcome. Miscarriage, preeclampsia, cesarean, and perinatal death (7-11%) were also more common than in the general population. There have been no published cases of clinical evidence of vertical transmission. Evidence is accumulating rapidly, so these data may need to be updated soon. The findings from this study can guide and enhance prenatal counseling of women with COVID-19 infection occurring during pregnancy.