Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Guidance on Behalf of the International Fetal Medicine and Surgery Society

Jan Deprest*, Mahesh Choolani, Frank Chervenak, Diana Farmer, Katrien Lagrou, Enrico Lopriore, Laurence McCullough, Olutoyin Olutoye, Lynn Simpson, Tim Van Mieghem, Greg Ryan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The COVID-19 pandemic has stressed patients and healthcare givers alike and challenged our practice of antenatal care, including fetal diagnosis and therapy. This document aims to review relevant recent information to allow us to optimize prenatal care delivery. We discuss potential modifications to obstetric management and fetal procedures in SARS-CoV2-negative and SARS-CoV2-positive patients with fetal anomalies or disorders. Most fetal therapies are time sensitive and cannot be delayed. If personnel and resources are available, we should continue to offer procedures of proven benefit, acknowledging any fetal and maternal risks, including those to health care workers. There is, to date, minimal, unconfirmed evidence of spontaneous vertical transmission, though it may theoretically be increased with some procedures. Knowing a mother's preoperative SARS-CoV-2 status would enable us to avoid or defer certain procedures while she is contagious and to protect health care workers appropriately. Some fetal conditions may alternatively be managed neonatally. Counseling regarding fetal interventions which have a possibility of additional intra-or postoperative morbidity must be performed in the context of local resource availability. Procedures of unproven benefit should not be offered. We encourage participation in registries and trials that may help us to understand the impact of COVID-19 on pregnant women, their fetuses, and neonates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)689-698
Number of pages10
JournalFetal Diagnosis and Therapy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • COVID-19
  • Fetal anomaly
  • Fetal medicine
  • Fetal surgery
  • Fetoscopy
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vertical transmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Embryology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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