18:33 PM

Lisa Sammaritano, MD, Talks About COVID-19, Pregnancy, and Rheumatic Disease – What We Know So Far

Rheumatology Advisor discusses a recent editorial published in The Journal of Rheumatology by Lisa R. Sammaritano, MD, rheumatologist at HSS, which provided an overview of the available literature on the effects of COVID-19 on pregnant patients with rheumatic disease (RD).

Dr. Sammaritano explained the available data on pregnancy outcomes in rheumatic disease (RD) and COVID-19 collected from the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance are reassuring despite the obvious cause for concern, specifically a study by Bermas and colleagues, recently published in The Journal of Rheumatology, reporting data from 39 women with RD who contracted COVID-19 infection during pregnancy.

According to Dr. Sammaritano, “There are 2 concerning factors for pregnant patients with RD who develop COVID-19. First, women with RD are already at a higher risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes compared with the general population, with risk depending on diagnosis, disease activity, autoantibody status, medications, and other factors. Second, COVID-19 infections in pregnant women tend to be more severe due to altered immune responses of pregnancy.”

She explained, “Despite a higher rate of hospitalization, the pregnant patients with RD, in the Bermas et al study, did well. None of the patients required intensive care unit (ICU) admission or mechanical ventilation, despite the additional risk factor of pregnancy. There were no patient deaths. Patients may have done well in part due to their overall young age, relatively quiet disease activity, and limited use of immunosuppressive medications.”

Dr. Sammaritano underscored the importance of communication between rheumatologists, obstetricians and gynecologists. “The current COVID-19 pandemic further strengthens the need for a team-based approach – patients should be confident that their physicians with differing expertise have discussed their medical history and agreed on recommendations, especially during a particularly challenging time with COVID-19,” she noted.

Read the full article at Rheumatologyadvisor.com.