Mild to moderate COVID-19 may have no effect on brain of developing fetuses


Study results show that fetal cognitive development in the assessed areas was age-appropriate and there was no indication of infection.

Mild to moderate COVID-19 in pregnant women has no effect on the brain of the developing fetus, results of a study presented at the Radiological Society of North America show.

“Since the impact of severe infection on brain development in the fetus has not been conclusively determined, active protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy remains important,” Sophia Stöcklein, MD, from the department of radiology at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany, said in a statement.

The study results show that brain development in the assessed areas was age-appropriate in all fetuses and there was no indication of infection of the fetal brain.

Investigators used fetal magnetic resonance imaging, evaluated by 2 board-certified radiologists, to determine if maternal COVID-19 affected fetal brain health.

They included 33 individuals who were approximately 28 weeks into their pregnancies, on average, with symptom onset occurring at a mean of more than 18 weeks into their pregnancies.

The most common symptoms were a dry cough, fever, loss of or reduced sense of smell and taste, and shortness of breath.

Investigators will follow the individuals over the next 5 years, including detailed neonatal assessment, as well as assessment of neurological development.


  1. COVID-19 during pregnancy doesn’t harm baby’s brain. EurekAlert. News release. November 30, 2021. Accessed November 30, 2021.

This article was originally published on Pharmacy Times®.

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