Material and methods: To describe placental pathology from women with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy, a SARS-CoV-2 immunohistochemistry-positive placenta and late miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death, or medically indicated birth due to fetal distress.
Results: The triad of trophoblastic necrosis, inflammatory intervillous infiltrates, and increased perivillous fibrinoid deposition was present in all 17 placentas; the pregnancies resulted in eight stillbirths, two late miscarriages (19 and 21 weeks' gestation), and seven liveborn children, two of which died shortly after delivery. The severity of maternal COVID-19 was not reflected by the extent of the placental lesions. In only one case, SARS-CoV-2 was detected in lung tissue samples from the fetus. The majority events (miscarriage, stillbirth, fetal distress resulting in indicated birth, or livebirth, but neonatal death) happened shortly after maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection was diagnosed. Seven of eight sequenced cases were infected with the Delta (B.1.617.2) virus strain.
Conclusion: We consolidate findings from previous case series describing extensive SARS-CoV-2 placentitis and placental insufficiency leading to fetal hypoxia. We found sparse evidence to support the notion that SARS-CoV-2 virus had infected the fetus or newborn.