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Gulersen M, Blitz MJ, Rochelson B, Nimaroff M, Shan W, Bornstein E. Clinical Implications of SARS-CoV-2 Infection in the Viable Preterm Period [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jul 2]. Am J Perinatol. 2020;10.1055/s-0040-1713851. doi:10.1055/s-0040-1713851

Objective: This study aimed to determine the rate of preterm birth (PTB) during hospitalization among women diagnosed with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) between 23 and 37 weeks of gestation and whether this rate differs by gestational age at diagnosis of infection.

Study design: Retrospective, cross-sectional study of all women diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection between 23 and 37 weeks of gestation within a large integrated health system from March 13 to April 24, 2020. Cases with severe fetal structural malformations detected prior to infection were excluded. Women were stratified into two groups based on gestational age at diagnosis: early preterm (230/7 to 336/7 weeks) versus late preterm (34 to 366/7 weeks). We compared the rate of PTB during hospitalization with infection between the two groups. Statistical analysis included use of Wilcoxon rank sum and Fisher exact tests, as well as a multivariable logistic regression. Statistical significance was defined as a p-value <0.05.

Results: Of the 65 patients included, 36 (53.7%) were diagnosed in the early preterm period and 29 (46.3%) were diagnosed in the late preterm period. Baseline demographics were similar between groups. The rate of PTB during hospitalization with infection was significantly lower among women diagnosed in the early preterm period compared with late preterm (7/36 [19.4%] vs. 18/29 [62%], p-value = 0.001). Of the 25 patients who delivered during hospitalization with infection, the majority were indicated deliveries (64%, 16/25). There were no deliveries <33 weeks of gestation for worsening coronavirus disease 2019 and severity of disease did not alter the likelihood of delivery during hospitalization with SARS-CoV-2 infection (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 0.64; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.24-1.59). Increased maternal age was associated with a lower likelihood of delivery during hospitalization with SARS-CoV-2 infection (aOR: 0.77; 95% CI: 0.58-0.96), while later gestational age at diagnosis of infection was associated with a higher likelihood of delivery during hospitalization (aOR: 2.9; 95% CI: 1.67-8.09).

Conclusion: The likelihood of PTB during hospitalization with SARS-CoV-2 infection is significantly lower among women diagnosed in the early preterm period compared with late preterm. Most women with SARS-CoV-2 infection in the early preterm period recovered and were discharged home. The majority of PTB were indicated and not due to spontaneous preterm labor.

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