Z Geburtshilfe Neonatol 2024; 228(01): 42-48
DOI: 10.1055/a-2220-7469

An Update on COVID-19-Associated Placental Pathologies

Ein Update zu COVID-19-assoziierten Pathologien in der Plazenta
1   Institut für Pathologie, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Hannover, Germany
Jan-Theile Suhren
1   Institut für Pathologie, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Hannover, Germany
› Author Affiliations


COVID-19 pregnancies are associated with increased rates of premature delivery and stillbirths. It is still a matter of debate whether there is a COVID-19-associated pattern of placenta pathology. We updated our previously published results on a systematic literature review and meta-analysis of COVID-19 pregnancies. In total, 38 reports on 3677 placentas were evaluated regarding histopathological changes. Maternal vascular malperfusion (32%), fetal vascular malperfusion (19%), acute and chronic inflammation (20% and 22%) were frequent pathologies. In non-COVID-19 pregnancies, placentas show similar histologic patterns and mainly similar frequencies of manifestation. It has to be taken into account that there might be an observation bias, because some findings are diagnosed as a “pathology” that might have been classified as minor or unspecific findings in non-COVID-19 placentas. COVID-19 placentitis occurs in 1–2% of cases at the most. In conclusion, this updated meta-analysis indicates that COVID-19 infection during pregnancy does not result in an increased rate of a specific placenta pathology and COVID-19 placentitis is rare.

Publication History

Received: 31 July 2023

Accepted after revision: 21 November 2023

Article published online:
08 February 2024

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