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DOI: 10.5146/tjpath.2020.01506
Villitis of Unknown Etiology in the Placenta of a Pregnancy Complicated by COVID-19
Erdener OZER1, Erkan CAGLIYAN2, Resmiye Irmak YUZUGULDU1, Mustafa CŁneyt CEVIZCI1, Nuray DUMAN3
1Department of Pathology, Dokuz Eylul University Hospital, IZMIR, TURKEY
2Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology Dokuz Eylul University Hospital, IZMIR, TURKEY
3Department of Neonatology, Dokuz Eylul University Hospital, IZMIR, TURKEY
Keywords: COVID-19, Placenta, SARS-CoV-2, Villitis of unknown etiology

Villitis of unknown etiology (VUE) is noninfectious chronic villitis thought to be associated with fetal growth restriction and stillbirth. COVID-19 and the pandemic SARS-CoV-2 infection can cause an increased risk in pregnant women for potential maternal and fetal complications from an immunological mechanism. We report a 39-week-gestational-age infant delivered to a 37-year-old mother diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection at 37 weeks gestation. The placental examination showed the morphological features of VUE. We showed immunohistochemically that macrophages and CD4-positive T cells predominated in the villous tissue, although elevated numbers of CD8-positive cells were also present. We hypothesize that VUE may represent a maternal anti-viral immune response, in this case to SARS-CoV-2.

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