Study shows how COVID-19 increases risk of pregnancy complications

A new study by WashU Med maternal-fetal medicine researchers shows that the novel coronavirus infects maternal and fetal cells in the placenta and alters the balance of hormones that regulate blood pressure. This finding, published in the journal Med, helps explain why coronavirus infection has been linked to serious pregnancy complications, such as preeclampsia, that threaten the health of both mother and fetus.

Senior author Indira Mysorekar, PhD, the James P. Crane Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology and director of the Center for Reproductive Health Sciences, says the study “provides a foundation to design rigorous studies to confirm the effects of COVID-19 on pregnancy and assess treatment strategies, such as targeting blood pressure regulatory systems to prevent pregnancy complications in infected women.”