COVID-19 Evidence Alerts
from McMaster PLUSTM

Current best evidence for clinical care (more info)

Prognosis Abou Ghayda R, Li H, Lee KH, et al. COVID-19 and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome: A Systematic Review of 104 Cases. J Clin Med. 2020 Oct 26;9(11). pii: jcm9113441. doi: 10.3390/jcm9113441.

(1) Background: Until now, several reports about pregnant women with confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been published. However, there are no comprehensive systematic reviews collecting all case series studies on data regarding adverse pregnancy outcomes, especially association with treatment modalities. (2) Objective: We aimed to synthesize the most up-to-date and relevant available evidence on the outcomes of pregnant women with laboratory-confirmed infection with COVID-19. (3) Methods: PubMed, Scopus, MEDLINE, Google scholar, and Embase were explored for studies and papers regarding pregnant women with COVID-19, including obstetrical, perinatal, and neonatal outcomes and complications published from 1 January 2020 to 4 May 2020. Systematic review and search of the published literature was done using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). (4) Results: In total, 11 case series studies comprising 104 pregnant women with COVID-19 were included in our review. Fever (58.6%) and cough (30.7%) were the most common symptoms. Other symptoms included dyspnea (14.4%), chest discomfort (3.9%), sputum production (1.0%), sore throat (2.9%), and nasal obstruction (1.0%). Fifty-two patients (50.0%) eventually demonstrated abnormal chest CT, and of those with ground glass opacity (GGO), 23 (22.1%) were bilateral and 10 (9.6%) were unilateral. The most common treatment for COVID-19 was administration of antibiotics (25.9%) followed by antivirals (17.3%). Cesarean section was the mode of delivery for half of the women (50.0%), although no information was available for 28.8% of the cases. Regarding obstetrical and neonatal outcomes, fetal distress (13.5%), pre-labor rupture of membranes (9.6%), prematurity (8.7%), fetal death (4.8%), and abortion (2.9%) were reported. There are no positive results of neonatal infection by RT-PCR. (5) Conclusions: Although we have found that pregnancy with COVID-19 has significantly higher maternal mortality ratio compared to that of pregnancy without the disease, the evidence is too weak to state that COVID-19 results in poorer maternal outcome due to multiple factors. The number of COVID-19 pregnancy outcomes was not large enough to draw a conclusion and long-term outcomes are yet to be determined as the pandemic is still unfolding. Active and intensive follow-up is needed in order to provide robust data for future studies.

Discipline / Specialty Area Score
Infectious Disease
Pediatric Neonatology
Comments from MORE raters

FM/GP/Obstetrics rater

By now we've had hundreds of thousands of pregnant women worldwide infected with SARS-CoV2, so looking at 104 cases total -- with plenty of missing data no less! -- just isn't worth anyone's time.

Obstetrics rater

This is another publication trying to shed light on what happens with COVID in pregnancy. The problem is that we cannot do a systematic review since the reported cases are not consistent. All of these studies do not have a consistent way to ascertain patients and no controls. So, their conclusions are suspect.

Pediatric Neonatology rater

This is a useful summary of the literature; however, the review adds little new information as there are very few cases, lack of appropriate control groups, and paucity of information on newborn infants.