SARS-CoV-2 Infection and COVID-19 During Pregnancy: A Multidisciplinary Review
Enninga, Elizabeth Ann L.
Gunaratne, Madugodaralalage D.S. K.
Ibirogba, Eniola R.
Trad, Ayssa Teles A.
Theiler, Regan N.
Szymanski, Linda M.
Garovic, Vesna D.
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The global pandemic of SARS-CoV-2, the cause of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has been associated with worse outcomes in several patient populations, including the elderly and those with chronic comorbidities. Data from previous pandemics and seasonal influenza suggest that pregnant women may be at increased risk for infection-associated morbidity and mortality. Physiological changes in normal pregnancy and metabolic and vascular changes of high-risk pregnancies may affect pathogenesis or exacerbate the clinical presentation of COVID-19. Specifically, SARS-CoV-2 enters the cell via the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor, which is upregulated in normal pregnancy. Upregulation of ACE2 mediates conversion of Angiotensin II (vasoconstrictor) to Angiotensin 1-7 (vasodilator) and contributes to relatively low blood pressures, despite upregulation of other components of the renin angiotensin aldosterone system. As a result of higher ACE2 expression, pregnant women may be at an elevated risk of complications from SARS-CoV-2 infection. Upon binding to ACE2, SARS-CoV-2 causes its downregulation, thus lowering Angiotensin 1-7 levels, which can mimic/worsen vasoconstriction, inflammation, and pro-coagulopathic effects that occur in preeclampsia. Indeed, early reports suggest that, among other adverse outcomes, preeclampsia may be more common in pregnant women with COVID-19. Medical therapy, during both pregnancy and breast feeding, relies on medications with proven safety, but safety data are often missing for medications in the early stages of clinical trials. We summarize guidelines for medical/obstetric care and outline future directions for optimization of treatment and preventive strategies for pregnant patients with COVID-19 with the understanding that relevant data are limited and rapidly changing.
Link to resourcehttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.mayocp.2020.05.011
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