Early reports associating SARS-CoV-2 infection with adverse pregnancy outcomes were biased by including only women with severe disease without controls. The Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology (SOAP) COVID Registry was created to compare peripartum outcomes and anesthetic utilization in women with and without SARS-CoV-2 infection delivering at institutions with widespread testing.
Deliveries from 14 U.S. medical centers, March 19-May 31, 2020, were included. Peripartum infection was defined as a positive SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction test within 14 days of delivery. Consecutive SARS-CoV-2 infected patients with randomly selected control patients were sampled (1:2 ratio) with controls delivering during the same day without a positive test. Outcomes were obstetric (e.g., delivery mode, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, delivery < 37 weeks), an adverse neonatal outcome composite measure (primary), and anesthetic utilization (e.g., neuraxial labor analgesia and anesthesia). Outcomes were analyzed using generalized estimating equations to account for clustering within centers. Sensitivity analyses compared symptomatic and asymptomatic patients to controls.
1454 peripartum women were included: 490 with SARS-CoV-2 infection [176 (35.9%) symptomatic]; 964 controls. SARS-CoV-2 patients were slightly younger, more likely non-nulliparous, non-white, and Hispanic than controls. They were more likely to have diabetes, obesity, or cardiac disease and less likely to have autoimmune disease. After adjustment for confounders, individuals experiencing SARS-CoV-2 infection exhibited an increased risk for delivery < 37 weeks gestation compared to controls, 73 (14.8%) vs. 98 (10.2%) [adjusted odds ratio (aOR): 1.47 95% CI (1.03-2.09)]. Effect estimates for other obstetric outcomes and the neonatal composite outcome measure were not meaningfully different between SARS-CoV-2-patients versus controls. In sensitivity analyses, compared to controls, symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 patients exhibited: increases in cesarean delivery [aOR: 1.57 95% CI (1.09-2.27)]; postpartum length of stay [aOR 1.89 95% CI (1.18-2.60)]; delivery < 37 weeks gestation [aOR 2.08 95% CI (1.29-3.36)]. These adverse outcomes were not found in asymptomatic women versus controls. SARS-CoV-2 patients (asymptomatic and symptomatic) were less likely to receive neuraxial labor analgesia [aOR: 0.52 95% CI (0.35–0.75)] and more likely to receive general anesthesia for cesarean delivery [aOR: 3.69 95% CI (1.40–9.74)] due to maternal respiratory failure.
In this large, multicenter U.S. cohort study of women with and without peripartum SARS-CoV-2 infection, differences in obstetric and neonatal outcomes seem to be mostly driven by symptomatic patients. Lower utilization of neuraxial analgesia in laboring patients with asymptomatic or symptomatic infection compared to patients without infection requires further investigation.