Possible Association of Pulmonary Atresia with In-Utero Coxsackievirus B Exposure

Horacio G. Carvajal, Vipul Sharma, Lisa S. Goessling, Taylor C. Merritt, Anoop K. Brar, Pirooz Eghtesady

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Gestational viral infection has been associated with congenital heart disease (CHD). Few studies, however, have studied the potential role of gestational Coxsackievirus B (CVB) exposure in the pathogenesis of CHD. We prospectively enrolled women with pregnancies affected by CHD to explore possible associations with in utero CVB exposure. Serum samples were obtained from 122 women referred for fetal echocardiography between 2006 and 2018. We quantified CVB IgG and IgM levels, with titers ≥ 15.0 U/mL considered positive and measured neutralizing antibodies for three CVB serotypes: CVB1, CVB3, and CVB4. Using data from the national enterovirus surveillance system, we compared the annual exposure rates for each serotype in our cohort to infections reported across the United States. 98 pregnancies with no genetic defects were included. Overall, 29.6% (29/98) had positive IgG and 4.1% (4/98) of women had positive CVB IgM titers. To explore first-trimester CVB exposure, we focused exclusively on the 26 women with positive IgG and negative IgM titers. 61.5% (16/26) had neutralizing antibodies against a single serotype and 38.5% (10/26) against multiple CVB serotypes. CVB4 neutralizing antibodies were the most common (65.4%, 17/26), followed by CVB3 (53.9%, 14/26) and CVB1 (30.8%, 8/26). Among these, 30.8% of babies presented pulmonary valve anomalies: 19.2% (5/26) pulmonary atresia, and 11.5% (3/26) pulmonary stenosis. 23.1% (6/26) of babies had coronary sinusoids. CVB exposure in our cohort mirrored that of reported infections in the United States. Our results suggest a possible association between gestational CVB exposure and specific CHD, particularly pulmonary valve anomalies and coronary sinusoids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)960-968
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric Cardiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2022


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