Pregnancy and perinatal outcomes of women with severe acute respiratory syndrome

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This study was undertaken to evaluate the pregnancy and perinatal outcomes of pregnant women with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

Study design

All pregnant women (12) who presented with SARS in Hong Kong between February 1 and July 31, 2003, were included. The pregnancy and perinatal outcomes were collected. Evidence of perinatal transmission of virus was assessed with the SARS-associated coronavirus reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction on cord blood, placenta tissue, and subsequent follow-up of the neonate on serology.


Three deaths occurred among the 12 patients, giving a case fatality rate of 25%. Four of the 7 patients (57%) who presented in the first trimester had spontaneous miscarriage. Four of the 5 patients who presented after 24 weeks were delivered preterm. Two mothers recovered without delivery, but their ongoing pregnancies were complicated by intrauterine growth restriction. No newborn infant had clinical SARS and all investigations were negative for SARS.


SARS during pregnancy is associated with high incidences of spontaneous miscarriage, preterm delivery, and intrauterine growth restriction. There is no evidence of perinatal SARS infection among infants born to these mothers.

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