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Microorganisms ; 10(7)2022 Jul 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1938909


The variety of placental morphological findings with SARS-CoV-2 maternal infections has raised the issue of poor agreement in histopathological evaluation. The aims of this study were: to describe the histopathological placental features of a large sample of SARS-CoV-2-positive women who gave birth in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic, to analyse the factors underlying these lesions, and to analyse the impact of placental impairment on perinatal outcomes. From 25 February 2020 to 30 June 2021, experienced perinatal pathologists examined 975 placentas of SARS-CoV-2-positive mothers enrolled in a national prospective study, adopting the Amsterdam Consensus Statement protocol. The main results included the absence of specific pathological findings for SARS-CoV-2 infections, even though a high proportion of placentas showed signs of inflammation, possibly related to a cytokine storm induced by the virus, without significant perinatal consequences. Further research is needed to better define the clinical implications of placental morphology in SARS-CoV-2 infections, but the results of this large cohort suggest that placentas do not seem to be a preferential target for the new Coronavirus infection.

Virchows Arch ; 479(4): 715-728, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1209750


Infection by SARS-CoV-2 has been shown to involve a wide range of organs and tissues, leading to a kaleidoscope of clinical conditions. Within this spectrum, an involvement of the fetal-maternal unit could be expected, but, so far, the histopathological evaluation of placentas delivered by women with SARS-CoV-2 infection did not show distinct hallmarks. A consecutive series of 11 placentas, delivered by 10 women with COVID-19 admitted to our Obstetrics and Gynecology clinic have been investigated and compared to a control cohort of 58 pre-COVID-19 placentas and 28 placentas delivered by women who had a previous cesarean section. Four out of eleven placentas showed changes consistent with chronic villitis/villitis of unknown etiology (VUE), while in one case, chronic histiocytic intervillositis was diagnosed. Thrombo-hemorrhagic alterations were observed in a subset of cases. Compared to the control cohort, chronic villitis/VUE (p < 0.001), chronic deciduitis (p = 0.023), microvascular thrombosis (p = 0.003), presence of infarction areas (p = 0.047) and of accelerated villous maturation (p = 0.005) showed higher frequencies in placentas delivered by women with COVID-19. Chronic villitis/VUE (p = 0.003) and accelerated villous maturation (p = 0.019) remained statistically significant by restricting the analysis to placentas delivered after a previous cesarean section. The observed differences in terms of pathological findings could be consistent with SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis, but just a subset of alterations remained statistically significant after adjusting for a previous cesarean section. A careful consideration of potential confounders is warranted in future studies exploring the relationship between COVID-19 and pregnancy.

COVID-19/pathology , Placenta/pathology , Adult , COVID-19/metabolism , Chorionic Villi/pathology , Chorionic Villi/virology , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Inflammation/pathology , Inflammation/virology , Placenta/metabolism , Placenta/virology , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Thrombosis/pathology , Thrombosis/virology