Impact of COVID-19 on the placental pathology of pregnant women and their infants: A systematic review protocol

Pregnant women are susceptible to viral infections due to physiological changes such as cell-mediated immunity. No severe adverse pregnancy or neonatal outcomes have been consistently reported in COVID-19 positive pregnancy cases. There are controversies around the role of COVID-19 in pregnancy. A systematic review was conducted to examine clinical maternal and neonatal clinical outcomes. Studies were included if they reported COVID-19 infection among pregnant women and/or COVID-19 positive neonates as validated by positive antibody testing or viral testing using Polymerase Chain Reaction. Case series, case reports, case-control studies, and comparative studies were included. 837 records were identified, resulting in 525 records for level I screening. 41 were included after full-text review. Results suggest elevated rates of ICU admission, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, C-sections, pre-term birth, and CRP in comparison to pregnant women without SARS-CoV-2. Careful monitoring of pregnancies with SARS-CoV-2 to minimize adverse clinical outcomes is recommended.
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