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Coronavirus may cause damage to the placenta of a pregnant woman, a recent research has shown.
A small study of 16 pregnant women who tested positive for Covid-19 found evidence of injury to the placenta, the organ that acts as the gut, kidneys, liver and lungs for a fetus during pregnancy.
In what could be a newly manifested complication of COVID-19, researchers found indications of abnormal blood flow between mothers and their babies in utero, researchers at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine said.
The findings themselves could provide information on how to monitor pregnant mothers who have tested positive for coronavirus, they said.
Though the babies were born healthy and coronavirus-free, the findings raised concerns among some obstetrics experts.
“It doesn’t appear to be inducing negative outcomes in live-born infants, based on our limited data, but it does validate the idea that women with COVID should be monitored more closely.”
Despite following only 16 women, the authors said the study is the largest examination of the health of placentas in women who tested positive for Covid-19 done to date.
“I don’t want to draw sweeping conclusions from a small study, but this preliminary glimpse into how Covid-19 might cause changes in the placenta carries some pretty significant implications for the health of a pregnancy,” said Miller, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.