Placental Pathology of COVID-19 with and without Fetal and Neonatal Infection: Trophoblast Necrosis and Chronic Histiocytic Intervillositis as Risk Factors for Transplacental Transmission of SARS-CoV-2

Viruses
David A Schwartz, Denise Morotti

Abstract

The mechanism(s) by which neonates testing positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) acquire their infection has been largely unknown. Transmission of the etiological agent, SARS-CoV-2, from mother to infant has been suspected but has been difficult to confirm. This communication summarizes the spectrum of pathology findings from pregnant women with COVID-19 based upon the infection status of their infants and addresses the potential interpretation of these results in terms of the effects of SARS-CoV-2 on the placenta and the pathophysiology of maternal-fetal infection. Placentas from pregnant women with COVID-19 and uninfected neonates show significant variability in the spectrum of pathology findings. In contrast, placentas from infected maternal-neonatal dyads are characterized by the finding of mononuclear cell inflammation of the intervillous space, termed chronic histiocytic intervillositis, together with syncytiotrophoblast necrosis. These placentas show prominent positivity of syncytiotrophoblast by SARS-CoV-2, fulfilling the published criteria for transplacental viral transmission as confirmed in fetal cells through identification of viral antigens by immunohistochemistry or viral nucleic acid using RNA in situ ...Continue Reading

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Methods Mentioned

BETA
cesarean section
cesarean
PCR
electron microscopy
bronchoalveolar lavage
biopsies

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