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Effects of SARS-Cov-2 mRNA vaccine on placental histopathology: Comparison of a population of uncomplicated COVID-19 positive pregnant women.

Placenta 2024 March 15

INTRODUCTION: This study investigates the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on placental histopathology in pregnant women, comparing outcomes between vaccinated and non-vaccinated individuals. Despite known adverse pregnancy outcomes linked to SARS-CoV-2 infection, the specific effects on the placenta remain unclear. Although vaccination has demonstrated a substantial reduction in infection severity, its impact on placental health requires more insight. 2.

METHODS: Between March 2021 and July 2022, 387 COVID-19-positive women were admitted for delivery. Of these, 98 with non-severe symptoms were analyzed: 35 vaccinated during pregnancy, and 63 non-vaccinated. Two independent pathologists evaluated all placental specimens. 3.

RESULTS: The only differing obstetrical characteristic between groups was the mode of delivery (p 0.047), lacking clinical implications. Over 85% of placentas exhibited microscopic abnormalities, predominantly maternal vascular supply disorders (vaccinated 89.1%; unvaccinated 85.5%). Comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated groups revealed statistically significant differences, notably in increased focal perivillous fibrin deposits (IFPFD) [17.1% vs. 33.3% (p 0.04)] and avascular fibrotic villi (AFV) [0% vs. 11.1% (p 0.04)]. Binomial logistic regression confirmed the vaccine's protective role against IFPFD (aOR 0.36; 95%CI 013-0.99) and AVF (aOR 0.06, 95% CI 0.003-0.98). A sub-analysis in vaccinated women showed a positive correlation between the timing of the first dose and IFPFD presence (p 0.018). 4.

DISCUSSION: The lower incidence of maternal and fetal vascular malperfusion placental features in vaccinated women, coupled with the timing correlation, supports the vaccine's protective effect on placental tissue in COVID-19-infected pregnant patients. Notably, no side effects were reported post-vaccination, emphasizing the vaccine's safety and advocating for its secure administration in pregnant populations.

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