Laboratory analysis of symptomatic and asymptomatic pregnant patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection

Stephanie A. Fisher*, Jeffery A. Goldstein, Leena B. Mithal, Alexandra L. Isaia, Elisheva D. Shanes, Sebastian Otero, Emily S. Miller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Inflammatory biomarkers have been used to portend disease severity in nonpregnant individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, currently, limited data are available, and with mixed results, to elucidate which inflammatory biomarkers may be most associated with clinical phenotype in pregnant patients. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to compare laboratory findings among pregnant patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection by symptom status and disease severity. STUDY DESIGN: We retrospectively evaluated pregnant patients with positive SARS-CoV-2 infection, confirmed through polymerase chain reaction testing, at an urban academic US hospital between March 2020 and October 2020, performed for reported symptoms or universal screening on admission. In our hospital, all patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection were recommended to have baseline laboratory testing, including leukocyte, neutrophil, and lymphocyte counts; aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase; high-sensitivity C-reactive protein; procalcitonin; lactate dehydrogenase; D-dimer; and ferritin. We performed multivariable logistic regression to evaluate peak laboratory abnormalities significantly associated with symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection and disease severity with gestational age at diagnosis, maternal age, and obesity as covariates. The sensitivity and specificity of laboratory abnormalities were calculated to identify symptomatic vs asymptomatic infection and severe to critical disease vs mild to moderate disease. RESULTS: We identified 175 pregnant patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection, of whom 100 (57%) were symptomatic; 17 (17%) of those who were symptomatic had a severe to critical disease. Laboratory data were available for 128 patients, of whom 67 (52%) were symptomatic. Compared with asymptomatic individuals, symptomatic individuals were more likely to exhibit elevated high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels after adjusting for gestational age (adjusted odds ratio, 5.67; 95% confidence interval, 1.42–22.52; sensitivity, 81%; specificity, 43%). In symptomatic individuals, transaminitis (adjusted odds ratio, 5.67; 95% confidence interval, 1.27–25.43), elevated procalcitonin levels (adjusted odds ratio, 16.60; 95% confidence interval, 2.61–105.46), and elevated lactate dehydrogenase levels (adjusted odds ratio, 17.55; 95% confidence interval, 2.51–122.78) were independently associated with severe to critical disease rather than mild to moderate disease after adjusting for maternal age and obesity. For differentiating disease severity, sensitivity rates for transaminitis, procalcitonin elevation, and lactate dehydrogenase elevation were 47%, 87%, and 53%, respectively, whereas the specificity rates were 89%, 63%, and 90%, respectively. CONCLUSION: Inflammatory biomarkers in pregnant patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection exhibited vast heterogeneity, poor discriminative ability, and thereby limited clinical utility. Larger registry studies should evaluate which inflammatory biomarkers may be most useful for risk stratification and prognostication of pregnant patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection, taking into account the physiology of pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100458
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology MFM
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnancy
  • inflammatory biomarkers in pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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