Placental Tissue Destruction and Insufficiency from COVID-19 Causes Stillbirth and Neonatal Death from Hypoxic-Ischemic Injury: A Study of 68 Cases with SARS-CoV-2 Placentitis from 12 Countries - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Year : 2022

Placental Tissue Destruction and Insufficiency from COVID-19 Causes Stillbirth and Neonatal Death from Hypoxic-Ischemic Injury: A Study of 68 Cases with SARS-CoV-2 Placentitis from 12 Countries

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M. Nelander
  • Function : Author

Abstract

CONTEXT.—: Perinatal death is an increasingly important problem as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, but the mechanism of death has been unclear. OBJECTIVE.—: To evaluate the role of the placenta in causing stillbirth and neonatal death following maternal infection with COVID-19 and confirmed placental positivity for SARS-CoV-2. DESIGN.—: Case-based retrospective clinico-pathological analysis by a multinational group of 44 perinatal specialists from 12 countries of placental and autopsy pathology findings from 64 stillborns and 4 neonatal deaths having placentas testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 following delivery to mothers with COVID-19. RESULTS.—: All 68 placentas had increased fibrin deposition and villous trophoblast necrosis and 66 had chronic histiocytic intervillositis, the three findings constituting SARS-CoV-2 placentitis. Sixty-three placentas had massive perivillous fibrin deposition. Severe destructive placental disease from SARS-CoV-2 placentitis averaged 77.7% tissue involvement. Other findings included multiple intervillous thrombi (37%; 25/68) and chronic villitis (32%; 22/68). The majority (19, 63%) of the 30 autopsies revealed no significant fetal abnormalities except for intrauterine hypoxia and asphyxia. Among all 68 cases, SARS-CoV-2 was detected from a body specimen in 16 of 28 cases tested, most frequently from nasopharyngeal swabs. Four autopsied stillborns had SARS-CoV-2 identified in internal organs. CONCLUSIONS.—: The pathology abnormalities composing SARS-CoV-2 placentitis cause widespread and severe placental destruction resulting in placental malperfusion and insufficiency. In these cases, intrauterine and perinatal death likely results directly from placental insufficiency and fetal hypoxic-ischemic injury. There was no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 involvement of the fetus had a role in causing these deaths.
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Dates and versions

inserm-03753359 , version 1 (18-08-2022)

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D. A. Schwartz, E. Avvad-Portari, P. Babál, M. Baldewijns, M. Blomberg, et al.. Placental Tissue Destruction and Insufficiency from COVID-19 Causes Stillbirth and Neonatal Death from Hypoxic-Ischemic Injury: A Study of 68 Cases with SARS-CoV-2 Placentitis from 12 Countries. Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, 2022, 146 (6), pp.660-676. ⟨10.5858/arpa.2022-0029-SA⟩. ⟨inserm-03753359⟩
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