Betty Raman leads study of long-term impact of COVID-19

Betty Raman leads study of long-term impact of COVID-19


Dr Betty Raman, St Cross Junior Research Fellow, and Professor Stefan Neubauer (Head of Cardiovascular Medicine and Director of Oxford Centre for Clinical Magnetic Resonance Research/OCMR) of the Radcliffe Department of Medicine are leading a study to understand the the long-term effects of COVID-19. on vital organs and general health. The C-MORE study (Capturing the MultiORgan Effects of COVID-19) is likely to provide new insights into the prevalence and extent of persistent multi-organ damage in survivors of COVID-19.

The disease is a highly contagious and potentially fatal respiratory viral illness which has affected millions of individuals globally. Although this illness primarily affects the lungs, some people can develop damage to other vital organs including the heart, brain, liver and kidney. Previous studies of related respiratory virus illness (sudden acute respiratory syndrome, SARS), suggest that the effects of COVID-19 may last for months beyond the initial infection. Symptoms of breathlessness, fatigue and depression have been reported in many patients after the SARS outbreak.

Using advanced state-of-the art imaging facilities from the University of Oxford (OCMR), Dr Raman and her team will assess the long-term effects of COVID-19 infection, not only on the lungs, but also on the heart, liver, kidney and brain. Patients with moderate to severe COVID-19 infection from Oxford University Hospitals will be recruited for this study and healthy subjects (of a similar age and sex) will also be invited to participate as controls.

At three, six and 12 months after the infection, participants will undergo a multi-organ MRI (lasting for 1 hour) to assess the heart, brain, liver and kidneys, a chest CT, as well as a series of tests, exercises and questionnaires to assess lung, cardiovascular and brain function, quality of life, frailty and mental health.

Detailed clinical data from all patients will be also be collected for up to 12 months after the infection from electronic patient records, general practice information systems, and other NHS databases.

A deeper understanding of the impact of Coronavirus disease on the quality of life of affected individuals and need for ongoing medical surveillance is likely to arise through these efforts. The C-MORE study will also identify risk factors for persistent multi-organ damage and on-going symptoms in patients and these insights will assist the development of novel therapies aimed at limiting multi-organ injury from this illness.


Riley Lewis

21 April 2020