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Study record
Buonsenso 2022First Published: 2022 Jan 14Updated Date: 2022 Jan 14

Short- and mid-term multidisciplinary outcomes of newborns exposed to SARS-CoV-2 in utero or during the perinatal period: preliminary findings

  1. Study Type
  2. Observational
  1. Study Aim
  2. Diagnostic/Prognostic
  1. Study Design
  2. Case series/Case control/Cohort
  1. Intervention Assignment
  2. Not Applicable
Reference record

Short- and mid-term multidisciplinary outcomes of newborns exposed to SARS-CoV-2 in utero or during the perinatal period: preliminary findings

Buonsenso D, Costa S, Giordano L, Priolo F, Colonna AT, Morini S, Sbarbati M, Pata D, Acampora A, Conti G, Crudo F, Cantiani A, Martina BM, Amorelli GM, Orazi L, Petrianni M, Ricci D, Lanzone A, Sanguinetti M, Cattani P, Sali M, Domenico R, Zampino G, Vento G, Valentini P
Journal article
Report Results
The long-term outcomes of newborns exposed to SARS-CoV-2 infection in utero or during the first hours of life are still unknown. We performed a single-center, prospective, observational study of newborns born from mothers with microbiologically confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnancy or at time of delivery. Infants were offered a multidisciplinary follow-up consisting of nasopharyngeal Polymerase Chain Reaction test at birth and at 48-72 h of life, auxological growth and neurological development, serologic testing, and audiological and ophthalmological assessments. One-hundred ninety-eight mothers and 199 newborns were enrolled. Of the 199 newborns, 171 underwent nasopharyngeal swab, four (2.3%) and two (1.15%) children tested positive at birth and 48-72 h of life, respectively. None had SARS-CoV-2 related symptoms. Auxologic and neurologic development were normal in all children during follow-up. Nine out of 59 infants had SARS-CoV-2 IgG at 3 months of life, which was associated with a positive nasopharyngeal swab at birth (P = 0.04). Twenty seven out of 143 (18.8%) newborns had pathologic transitory evoked otoacoustic emissions at birth, although 14/27 repeated after 1 month were normal. Audiological evaluation was completed with Auditory Brainstem Response between the third and sixth month of life in 34 children, showing in all normal hearing threshold. The ophthalmological evaluation found retinal vascular anomalies in 3/20 (15%) children, immature visual acuity in 5/20 (25%) children, and reduced distance attention in 6/20 cases (30%).Conclusions: Our study showed that the neonatal and mid-term multidisciplinary outcomes of newborns exposed to SARS-CoV-2 infection in utero or during the first hours of life are mostly positive, with the exception of ophthalmologic findings which, in a preliminary cohort, were abnormal in about 15% of cases. Further prospective, longitudinal studies are needed to better understand the clinical outcomes of children exposed to SARS-CoV-2 in utero and in the early postnatal life. What is Known: • In utero mother-to-child transmission of SARS-CoV-2 has been documented by several independent studies. • Neonatal COVID-19 is a systemic disease that can be severe, although rarely. What is New: • Newborns exposed in utero to SARS-CoV-2 have mostly a normal auxological, audiological, and neurological development during the first months of life. • Fundus fluorescein angiography revealed that up to 5% of newborns exposed in utero to SARS-CoV2 can show retinal and choroidal abnormalities, including peripheral hypofluorescence of the choroid and increased vascular tortuosity
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