Research

Maternal and neonatal outcomes of COVID-19 in a high-risk pregnant cohort with and without HIV

L de Waard, E Langenegger, K Erasmus, T van der Merwe, S E Olivier, N du Toit, C Paulsen, N Nkangana, M van Niekerk, A Moodley, S Schell, J Taljaard, M H Botha, A Dramowski, C A Cluver, A Bekker

Abstract


Background. The impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnant women living with HIV (PLHIV) has not been described previously.

Objectives. To describe the clinical presentation and outcomes of a cohort of women with high-risk pregnancies with confirmed COVID-19 to determine whether risk factors for disease severity and adverse outcomes of COVID-19 differed in pregnant women without HIV compared with PLHIV.

Methods. We prospectively enrolled pregnant women with COVID-19 attending the high-risk obstetric service at Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa, from 1 May to 31 July 2020, with follow-up until 31 October 2020. Women were considered high risk if they required specialist care for maternal, neonatal and/or anaesthetic conditions. Common maternal or obstetric conditions included hypertensive disorders, morbid obesity (body mass index (BMI) ≥40 kg/m2) and diabetes. Information on demographics, clinical features, and maternal and neonatal outcomes was collected and compared for PLHIV v. pregnant women without HIV.

Results. One hundred women (72 without HIV and 28 PLHIV) with high-risk pregnancies had laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. Among the 28 PLHIV, the median (interquartile range) CD4 count was 441 (317 - 603) cells/µL, and 19/26 (73%) were virologically suppressed. COVID-19 was diagnosed predominantly in the third trimester (81%). Obesity (BMI ≥30 in n=61/81; 75%) and hypertensive disorders were frequent comorbidities. Of the 100 women, 40% developed severe or critical COVID-19, 15% required intensive care unit admission and 6% needed invasive ventilation. Eight women died, 1 from advanced HIV disease complicated by bacteraemia and urosepsis. The crude maternal mortality rate was substantially higher in women with COVID-19 compared with all other deliveries at our institution during this period (8/91 (9%) v. 7/4 058 (0.2%); p<0.001). Neonatal outcomes were favourable. No significant differences in COVID-19 risk factors, disease severity, and maternal/neonatal outcome were noted for PLHIV v. those without HIV.

Conclusions. In this cohort of high-risk pregnant women, the impact of COVID-19 was severe, significantly increasing maternal mortality risk compared with baseline rates. Virally suppressed HIV infection was not associated with worse COVID-19 outcomes in pregnancy.


Authors' affiliations

L de Waard, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

E Langenegger, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

K Erasmus, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

T van der Merwe, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

S E Olivier, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

N du Toit, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

C Paulsen, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

N Nkangana, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

M van Niekerk, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

A Moodley, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

S Schell, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

J Taljaard, Division of Infectious Diseases, Tygerberg Hospital and Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

M H Botha, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

A Dramowski, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

C A Cluver, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa; Translational Obstetrics Group, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; Mercy Perinatal, Mercy Hospital for Women, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia

A Bekker, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

Full Text

PDF (278KB)

Keywords

COVID-19; Pregnancy; High-risk pregnancy; HIV

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2021;111(12):1174-1180. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2021.v111i12.15683

Article History

Date submitted: 2021-12-02
Date published: 2021-12-02

Article Views

Abstract views: 2471
Full text views: 1471

Comments on this article

*Read our policy for posting comments here