Objective: To evaluate complete blood count (CBC) changes that suggest coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) among asymptomatic pregnant women attending routine antenatal care
Methods: A cross-sectional study included 187 healthy pregnant women who were attending the antenatal care clinic of a tertiary University hospital between March and June 2020. After a thorough history and examinations, a venous blood sample was taken from each participant for complete and differential blood counts. Those who showed CBC findings suggestive of COVID-19 were further scheduled for a nasopharyngeal swab for detection of SARS- CoV-2 specific antigens through polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
Results: We found 5.3% (n=10) of the study population showed CBC changes that are suggestive of COVID-19. When they were scheduled for nasopharyngeal swab for a PCR confirmatory test, 30% (n=3) of them were PCR positive (which represented 1.6% of the entire study population). The most frequently encountered COVID-19-suggestive change in peripheral blood leukocyte differential counts was leucopenia (100%), followed by decreased eosinophil count (50%), then neutropenia and lymphocytopenia (30%).
Conclusions: Certain differential leucocyte count changes (leucopenia, neutropenia, lymphocytopenia and decreased eosinophil count) among asymptomatic pregnant women might be related to COVID-19 infection and may indicate a need for further testing.
COVID-19, pregnancy, blood count
The author reports no conflict of interest.
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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
Gharib WF, Nasser H, Sobh AMA, Rasha E. Khamees RE. COVID-19 related complete blood count changes among asymptomatic pregnant women. POG in Press. 2021 April; Article 1 [ 9 p.]. Available from: http://ir.uiowa.edu/pog_in_press/. Free full text article.