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Am J Obstet Gynecol ; 225(6): 593.e1-593.e9, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1439825


Pregnant individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 have higher rates of intensive care unit admission, oxygen requirement, need for mechanical ventilation, and death than nonpregnant individuals. Increased COVID-19 disease severity may be associated with an increased risk of viremia and placental infection. Maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection is also associated with pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia and preterm birth, which can be either placentally mediated or reflected in the placenta. Maternal viremia followed by placental infection may lead to maternal-fetal transmission (vertical), which affects 1% to 3% of exposed newborns. However, there is no agreed-upon or standard definition of placental infection. The National Institutes of Health/Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development convened a group of experts to propose a working definition of placental infection to inform ongoing studies of SARS-CoV-2 during pregnancy. Experts recommended that placental infection be defined using techniques that allow virus detection and localization in placental tissue by one or more of the following methods: in situ hybridization with antisense probe (detects replication) or a sense probe (detects viral messenger RNA) or immunohistochemistry to detect viral nucleocapsid or spike proteins. If the abovementioned methods are not possible, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction detection or quantification of viral RNA in placental homogenates, or electron microscopy are alternative approaches. A graded classification for the likelihood of placental infection as definitive, probable, possible, and unlikely was proposed. Manuscripts reporting placental infection should describe the sampling method (location and number of samples collected), method of preservation of tissue, and detection technique. Recommendations were made for the handling of the placenta, examination, and sampling and the use of validated reagents and sample protocols (included as appendices).

COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Placenta Diseases/diagnosis , Placenta Diseases/virology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/diagnosis , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Consensus , Female , Guidelines as Topic , Humans , Immunohistochemistry , In Situ Hybridization , Microscopy, Electron , National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (U.S.) , Pregnancy , United States/epidemiology
Arch Pathol Lab Med ; 145(11): 1341-1349, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1337799


CONTEXT.­: Case reports and rare case series have demonstrated variable placental pathology in the setting of maternal severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. In rare small studies demonstrating infection of the placental parenchyma, histologic manifestations have included variable degrees of histiocytic intervillositis, perivillous fibrin deposition, and syncytiotrophoblast necrosis. OBJECTIVE.­: To characterize the placental pathologic features of SARS-CoV-2-infected placentas, irrespective of fetal-maternal transmission, and to examine the frequency of C4d activation in such cases. DESIGN.­: A retrospective study of 7 placentas from mothers with active SARS-CoV-2 infection and placental infection as demonstrated by RNA in situ hybridization was conducted. RESULTS.­: There were 6 placentas from live-born neonates (5 singletons, 1 nonfused diamniotic-dichorionic twin placenta), and 1 was from a stillbirth. A total of 5 of the 8 neonates (including the stillbirth) tested negative for SARS-CoV-2, and all were negative for neonatal infection. The remaining 3 neonates were well at time of discharge. All placentas were positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection by RNA in situ hybridization and demonstrated variable degrees of histiocytic intervillositis, perivillous fibrin deposition, and trophoblast necrosis. Three cases demonstrated features of fetal vascular malperfusion. CD68 highlighted intervillous histiocytes. C4d expression was present along the villous borders in 6 of 7 cases. CONCLUSIONS.­: SARS-CoV-2 placentitis is defined by the triad of histiocytic intervillositis, perivillous fibrin deposition, and trophoblast necrosis. The features may occur in cases without confirmed transplacental transmission. The damage caused by SARS-CoV-2 placentitis is likely mediated by complement activation.

COVID-19/diagnosis , Placenta Diseases/diagnosis , Placenta/pathology , Placenta/virology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/diagnosis , Adult , Biomarkers/metabolism , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Testing , Female , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical , Lymphocyte Activation , Male , Placenta Diseases/immunology , Placenta Diseases/pathology , Placenta Diseases/virology , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/immunology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/pathology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , Retrospective Studies , Stillbirth
Placenta ; 112: 97-104, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1333705


INTRODUCTION: Pregnant women with covid-19 are more likely to experience preterm birth. The virus seems to be associated with a wide range of placental lesions, none of them specific. METHOD: We collected cases of Covid-19 maternal infection during pregnancy associated with poor pregnancy outcomes, for which we received the placenta. We studied clinical data and described pathological findings of placenta and post-mortem examination of fetuses. We performed an immunohistochemical study and RT-PCR of SARS-Cov-2 on placenta samples. RESULTS: We report 5 cases of poor fetal outcome, 3 fetal deaths and 2 extreme premature neonates, one with growth restriction, without clinical and biological sign of SARS-Cov-2 infection. All placenta presented massive perivillous fibrin deposition and large intervillous thrombi associated with strong SARS-Cov-2 expression in trophoblast and SARS-CoV-2 PCR positivity in amniotic fluid or on placenta samples. Chronic histiocytic intervillositis was present in 4/5 cases. Placental ultrasound was abnormal and the sFLT1-PIGF ratio was increased in one case. Timing between mothers' infection and the poor fetal outcome was ≤10 days in 4 cases. The massive placental damage are directly induced by the virus whose receptors are expressed on trophoblast, leading to trophoblast necrosis and massive inflammation in villous chamber, in a similar way it occurs in diffuse alveolar damage in adults infected by SARS-Cov-2. DISCUSSION: SARS-Cov-2 can be associated to a rare set of placental lesions which can lead to fetal demise, preterm birth, or growth restriction. Stronger surveillance of mothers infected by SARS-Cov-2 is required.

COVID-19/complications , Placenta Diseases/etiology , Premature Birth/etiology , Stillbirth , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/pathology , Female , Fetal Death/etiology , France , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Male , Perinatal Death/etiology , Placenta/pathology , Placenta/virology , Placenta Diseases/diagnosis , Placenta Diseases/pathology , Placenta Diseases/virology , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/diagnosis , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/pathology , Pregnancy Outcome , Premature Birth/pathology , Premature Birth/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Trophoblasts/pathology , Trophoblasts/virology