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Video: Research Shows How Coronavirus Affects The Placenta
Research shows how coronavirus affects the placenta
The pathology of the placenta described by the scientists did not affect the health of the children who were born to the participants in the study. But the authors warn that such damage could potentially disrupt the course of pregnancy.
The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus can damage the placenta. This is shown by a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Pathology. At the same time, the pathology of the placenta associated with COVID-19 may not affect future children in any way, which, however, in turn, is not a reason to relax for midwives and gynecologists, scientists believe.
The placenta is the temporary organ that connects the developing fetus to the pregnant woman's uterus. With its help, the fetus receives nutrients and oxygen, it participates in the elimination of metabolic products of the fetus, regulation of its temperature, protection from pathogens and more. Many viruses and bacteria are unable to cross the placenta, while in the vast majority of known cases, the virus has not been transmitted from mother to child.
Scientists examined the placentas of 16 women with COVID-19 immediately after giving birth. They found that infection may play a role in disrupting blood flow between the mother and the fetus. The authors of the study do not exclude that this may be the cause of complications that health workers leading a pregnancy should be aware of.
“I don’t want to jump to conclusions from a small study, but this preliminary data suggests that COVID-19 may lead to changes in the placenta that are important for health during pregnancy,” Emily Miller quoted CNN as saying.), Associate Professor at Northwestern University, co-author of the study.
Scientists also found abnormal blood vessels (malperfusion) and intervillous thrombi in the placenta with COVID-19. Malperfusion usually occurs in women with high blood pressure and preeclampsia. But in this study, only one woman had this pregnancy complication.
“The children were healthy, full-term, completely normal. But our data show that many vessels were blocked and many placentas were smaller than they should have been. The placenta is an organ with a large margin of safety. Even when only half of this organ is working, the child may be completely fine. But while this is not dangerous for most children, in some cases complications may arise,”Miller told Forbes.
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