Unravelling the impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy: In aspect of placental histopathology and umbilical cord macrophage immunoactivity with neonatal outcomes.

Altuntaş Ş. L., Güneş A., Kaplan A. A., Ayşit N., Keskin İ.

Journal of reproductive immunology, vol.162, pp.104207, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 162
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jri.2024.104207
  • Journal Name: Journal of reproductive immunology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.104207
  • Keywords: COVID-19, Immunofluorescence, Inflammation, Macrophage, Placenta, Umbilical cord
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


COVID-19 has turned into a global pandemic since it was first detected in 2019, causing serious public health problems. Our objective was to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on pregnant women and newborns, who belong to the vulnerable segments of society. Our study involved the histopathological examination of placentas and umbilical cords from two groups of pregnant women. Group I consisted of pregnant women who had never tested positive for COVID-19 during their pregnancy (n: 20). Group II consisted of pregnant women who had contracted COVID-19, exhibited moderate and mild symptoms, and recovered from the disease before giving birth (n: 23). Furthermore, we employed immunofluorescence techniques to detect macrophage activity in the umbilical cord. Prenatal assessments were based on maternal complete blood counts and coagulation assays (n:40 in both groups). Newborn conditions were evaluated using birth weight, height, head circumference, and APGAR (n:40 in both groups). Our analyses reveal that COVID-19 causes placental and umbilical cord inflammation and maternal and foetal vascular malperfussion. Our immunofluorescence investigations demonstrate a notable increase in macrophage numbers and the macrophage-to-total cell ratio within the COVID-19 group. In this aspect, this study provides the initial report incorporating macrophage activity results from Warton's jelly in pregnants who have recovered from COVID-19. We have also ascertained that COVID-19 abbreviates gestation periods and concurrently diminishes maternal haemoglobin concentrations. Consequently, COVID-19 with mild and moderate symptoms during pregnancy, causes significant changes to the placenta and umbilical cord, but propitiously does not cause a significant difference in the neonatal outcomes.