Cardiopulmonary Inflammation and Multi-System Imaging During the Clinical Course of COVID-19 Infection in Asymptomatic and Symptomatic Persons (COVID ARC 19)

  • End date
    May 1, 2024
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
Updated on 21 October 2022



COVID-19 virus infection differs among people. Some people have no or mild symptoms. For others, COVID-19 is life threatening and causes damage to the body s organs. Researchers want to better understand the virus to learn how to kill it.


To understand how the COVID-19 virus causes wide differences in how sick one can become from the infection.


People ages 18-80 with COVID-19 infection


Participants will be screened with a review of their medical records.

Participants who enter the study at the beginning of their COVID-19 infection will stay in the hospital until they are healthy enough to go home. Those who enter after they have recovered may need to stay in the hospital 1-2 nights to perform the study tests.

Participants will have MRI and CT scans of the brain, heart, and lungs. They will lie in a machine that takes pictures of the body. For the MRI, soft padding or a coil will be placed around their head and chest. They may receive a dye injected into a vein.

Participants will have an ultrasound of the kidneys and heart.

Participants will provide blood and urine samples. They will provide nasal swabs.

Participants will have a bronchoscopy. A thin tube will be placed through the nose or mouth into the airway. Saltwater will be squirted into the lungs and removed by suction.

Participants may provide a spinal fluid sample. A needle injected into the spinal canal will obtain fluid.

Participants will have lung and heart function tests.

At various points after recovery, participants will repeat many of these tests.


Study Description: This protocol will enroll patients within a 50 mile radius of Bethesda, Maryland, to the Clinical Center in a longitudinal study using granular clinical observations including pulmonary and cardiac functional assessments, comprehensive immunologic evaluations, and innovative imaging. Sequential analysis of blood, bronchoalveolar lavage, and spinal fluid, with simultaneous serial imaging can provide insights into mechanisms associated with the initiation, progression and resolution of organ dysfunction and systemic inflammation due to COVID-19 infection.


Primary objective:

To link inflammatory responses present in blood, bronchoalveolar lavage, spinal fluid, and with imaging of COVID-19 target organs (lungs, heart and brain) during the earliest stages of infection and at subsequent time points as the infection and host responses evolve, through recovery.

Secondary objectives

Assess the long-term effects of COVID-19 infection on immunologic, neurologic, cardiac and pulmonary function

  1. Measure inflammatory responses present in blood, bronchoalveolar lavage, and spinal fluid during the course of COVID-19 infection
  2. Obtain imaging of target organs during the course of COVID-19 infection
  3. Evaluate long-term effects of COVID-19 infection on immunologic, cardiac, pulmonary and neural function

Condition Acute and Long Term Effects of COVID-19 on Systemic Inflammation, Acute and Long Term Effects of COVID-19 on Lung Function, Acute and Long Term Effects of COVID-19 on Cardiac Function, Acute and Long Term Effects of COVID-19 on Kidney Function, Acute and Long Term Effects of COVID-19 on Brain Function
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04401449
SponsorNational Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
Last Modified on21 October 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

In order to be eligible to participate in this study, an individual must meet all of the
following criteria
Subjects within 1-28 days of documented COVID-19 infection for acute care
Stated willingness to comply with all study procedures and availability for the
duration of the study
Male or female, aged 18 to 80 years
Only a minority of children and adolescents have been described as developing
serious illness with COVID-19 infection. As such, this is not an age group at
significant risk from complications due to this infection. Adults older than 80
years of age represent a group with the greatest risk of mortality from COVID-19
infection. The presence of significant co-morbidities requiring care that cannot
provided at the CC would present a disadvantage to them to have their acute care provided
for in the CC
Male or female, aged 18 to 80 years
Documentation of positive SARSCoV-19 test by nucleic acid detection (COVID-19
infection , RT-PCR)
Ability of subject to understand and the willingness to sign a written informed
consent document
Subjects during recovery phase of the acute illness (day 28 +/- 7 days to 12 weeks) and
convalescent phase (Week 13 up to 12 months), Year 2 convalescent phase (13 24 months)
Year 3 convalescent phase (25 36 months) after recovery if care has been received at a
facility outside of NIH
Stated willingness to comply with all study procedures and availability for the
duration of the study
Study participants will be invited to continue their participation in the study in
years 2 and 3 based on the results of their tests from the first year and their
willingness to continue for the two additional years. If test results of imaging
blood, pulmonary function and or bronchoscopy have returned to normal at the end of
one year, the need for further cardiopulmonary testing will be assessed for each
patient. Anyone who is invited to continue in the 2nd and 3rd years may discontinue
their participation at any time

Exclusion Criteria

Cardiac pacemaker or implantable defibrillator unless it is safe for MRI
Cerebral aneurysm clip unless it is safe for MRI
Brain stimulator (e.g. TENS-Unit) unless it is safe for MRI
Any type of ear implant unless it is safe for MRI
Foreign body in the eye (e.g. metal shavings)
Metal shrapnel or bullet
Any implanted device (e.g. insulin pump, drug infusion device
An individual who meets any of the following criteria will be excluded from participation
in this study
Pregnancy or lactation Study participants who are enrolled in the study and become
pregnant during the enrollment period will be discontinued from further study
participation. Exposure to radiation or radiographic contrast agents for research
purposes .only would not be warranted for a pregnant woman and her fetus
Serious mental illness (e.g. schizophrenia, manic depression) that would limit the
ability of the participant to participate willingly into the study
- The conduct of the study requires participation in studies that may be unduly
stressful (e.g. MRI, bronchoscopy)
Severe claustrophobia that would prohibit the conduct of imaging by MRI even if
sedation is provided
Patients requiring mechanical ventilation at an outside hospital prior to transfer
Transporting these patients adds risk to their care
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Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

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If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

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Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

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