CISCO-21 Prevent and Treat Long COVID-19.

  • End date
    Jul 31, 2033
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
Updated on 12 September 2021


Many people have long-lasting symptoms after COVID-19, such as breathlessness, fatigue and chest pain. So far, research studies of treatments for COVID-19 have focused on the life-threatening acute illness; few studies look at treatments to improve long-term health after COVID-19. COVID-19, particularly when this requires a hospital admission, can lead to weight loss and muscle wasting, contributing to worse outcomes. Muscle strengthening (resistance-based) exercise could improve outcomes in the long-term.


The rationale for our study has two main parts. The first (primary) addresses a gap in therapy, notably, for a non-pharmacological intervention. To address this gap, the investigators have set out to develop a lifestyle intervention that may be helpful to patients with persisting symptoms in the recovery (or convalescence) phase after COVID-19. Specifically, the investigators will train participants to undertake a pragmatic resistance-based exercise intervention that they can learn and apply according to their circumstances in-hospital or in the community. The rationale is predicated on providing patients with a personalised therapy option and empowering them in the self-management of their recovery following illness due to COVID-19 infection.

The second area of need is the general lack of evidence-based medicines for patients who have persisting symptoms after COVID-19. To address this gap, there is a need for rapid trials to evaluate multiple therapeutic candidates to urgently provide doctors (and their patients) with clinical evidence to inform treatment decisions. To address this gap, the investigatorsaim to create a platform for rapid trials of new treatments after COVID-19. The investigators wish to seize the opportunity afforded by this trial to set-up a transferable framework for future trials in COVID-19. The rationale is to provide a low-cost trials resource to facilitate the rapid set-up and cost-efficient delivery of multiple other trials. This will be a parallel work strand during the trial. The investigators will develop a Working Group of stakeholders from across the National Health Service (NHS) and Universities in Scotland and our COVID-19 patient and public invovlement (PPI) group (which includes co-applicants and collaborators). Key considerations include repurposing novel therapy, potential for efficacy, safety, endpoint, sample size, feasibility interim analyses, power, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and costs. As part of the plan of work in application (Aim 3), the researchers and PPI Group will scope these potential interventions within the context of a platform trial with a view to identifying candidates to follow-on after the exercise intervention trial. This will cut the costs of doing future trials and allow more patients the opportunity to contribute to medical research that will improve outcomes for people recovering from COVID-19.

Our team is multidisciplinary, multi-ethnic, gender-balanced and drawn from across NHS Scotland, and the University of Glasgow. The investigators are leading the CISCO-19 study ( Identifier: NCT04403607), funded by the Chief Scientist Office (CSO), in the West of Scotland, using medical imaging of the hearts, lungs, and kidneys of patients, to understand the impact of COVID-19. The investigators have consulted with members of the public, including people with COVID-19, in designing this study.

The investigators will also undertake exploratory research into the vascular biology of COVID-19 infection. This work will be undertaken in collaboration with scientists in the University of Glasgow, including the British Heart Foundation Centre for Research Excellence and the Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Virus Research. A blood sample at 3 months will be collected and stored in the NHS Biorepository.

In order to assess the natural history, longer-term follow-up for health outcomes will be undertaken using electronic record linkage to patient records omitting the need for participants to undergo further research visits after the end of the trial. If after initial analysis longer term, follow up via national records is felt to be worthwhile additional funding will be sought for this.

Alignment with other national / international initiatives Our proposal will link with other prioritised studies in the United Kingdom. In general, co-enrolment would be desirable to synergise the studies. Our study will bring in new resource to enhance enrolment into existing studies, specifically, by engaging more sites, and more research staff.

Condition COVID19
Treatment Resistance Exercise
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04900961
SponsorNHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
Last Modified on12 September 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Virology plymerase chain reaction (PCR) positive laboratory diagnosis of COVID-19
Within 6 months of diagnosis
Persistent symptoms for at least 4 weeks from symptoms onset (Groups A & B only)
Presentation type - one of group A, B or C

Exclusion Criteria

Physiotherapy as part of standard care e.g. post intensive care unit (ICU), post high dependency unit (HDU)
No expectation of being able to walk within 3 months
Unable to provide informed consent
Unable to comply with the protocol
Known pregnancy
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