Fetal Inflammatory Response Syndrome Associated With Maternal SARS-CoV-2 Infection.

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DOI: 10.1542/peds.2020-010132


Amid the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, uncertainty exists about the potential for vertical transmission from mothers infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) to the fetus in utero. In this case report, we aim to demonstrate the occurrence of a fetal inflammatory response syndrome associated with maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection resulting in neonatal morbidity. In this report we describe an infant of a SARS-CoV-2-positive mother born prematurely with late-onset fever, thrombocytopenia, and elevated levels of inflammatory markers, all of which are consistent with a systemic inflammatory response. The neonate was tested for SARS-CoV-2 by using 2 nasopharyngeal swabs 24 hours apart, and results of both were negative. The result of a full workup for additional infectious pathogens was also negative. Although initially in critical condition in the perinatal period, the infant recovered completely before discharge. We hypothesize that this systemic inflammation occurred in response to maternal viral infection in the absence of vertical transmission of the virus. During the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, it will be important to consider the virus as a nidus for a fetal inflammatory response syndrome and resulting morbidity, even in the setting of a negative SARS-CoV-2 testing result in the infant.

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