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68Ga-FAPI PET/CT to Detect Ongoing Fibroblast Activity in Post-acute COVID-19

Study Purpose

The goal of this observational study is to investigate the role fibroblasts play in the persistent respiratory complaints after a COVID-19 infection. Fibroblasts are involved in tissue remodeling and repair by creating scar-tissue (fibrosis) after tissue damage has occurred. The hypothesis is that this process of fibrosis is ongoing in patients with persistent complaints. To evaluate the roll of fibroblasts a new type of scan is used that is capable of imaging active fibroblasts, a 68Ga-FAPI PET/CT scan.

Recruitment Criteria

Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Healthy volunteers are participants who do not have a disease or condition, or related conditions or symptoms

Study Type

An interventional clinical study is where participants are assigned to receive one or more interventions (or no intervention) so that researchers can evaluate the effects of the interventions on biomedical or health-related outcomes.

An observational clinical study is where participants identified as belonging to study groups are assessed for biomedical or health outcomes.

Searching Both is inclusive of interventional and observational studies.

Observational [Patient Registry]
Eligible Ages 18 Years and Over
Gender All
More Inclusion & Exclusion Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • - Male patients >18 years and female patients >20 years discharged from hospital after PCR-confirmed COVID-19 infection.
  • - Previous ICU or ward admission with high flow nasal oxygen (HFNO) or mechanical ventilation.
  • - Persistent respiratory complaints (shortness of breath) at least 3 months after hospital discharge.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • - Inability or unwilling to give informed consent.
  • - History of claustrophobia or feeling of inability to tolerate supine position for the PET/CT scans.
  • - Severe or significant comorbidity, defined as COPD GOLD stage II or higher and/or known interstitial lung disease.
  • - Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Trial Details

Trial ID:

This trial id was obtained from ClinicalTrials.gov, a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, providing information on publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants with locations in all 50 States and in 196 countries.


Phase 1: Studies that emphasize safety and how the drug is metabolized and excreted in humans.

Phase 2: Studies that gather preliminary data on effectiveness (whether the drug works in people who have a certain disease or condition) and additional safety data.

Phase 3: Studies that gather more information about safety and effectiveness by studying different populations and different dosages and by using the drug in combination with other drugs.

Phase 4: Studies occurring after FDA has approved a drug for marketing, efficacy, or optimal use.

Lead Sponsor

The sponsor is the organization or person who oversees the clinical study and is responsible for analyzing the study data.

University Medical Center Groningen
Principal Investigator

The person who is responsible for the scientific and technical direction of the entire clinical study.

Riemer Slart, Prof MD PhD
Principal Investigator Affiliation University Medical Center Groningen
Agency Class

Category of organization(s) involved as sponsor (and collaborator) supporting the trial.

Overall Status Recruiting
Countries Netherlands

The disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury that is being studied.

Post-Acute COVID-19, Post-Acute COVID-19 Infection, Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome, Pulmonary Fibrosis
Additional Details

Rationale: The pathogenesis of post-acute COVID-19 with respiratory complaints remains unknown. We aim to explore the pulmonary pattern and fibrosis activity in patients with post-acute COVID-19 with respiratory complaints using 68Ga-FAPI Positron Emission Tomography-Computed Tomography (PET/CT) imaging. Objective: To relate pulmonary fibroblast activity, measured by FAPI-PET/CT at least 3 months after hospital discharge, to interstitial lung abnormalities on high resolution CT (HRCT) at the same time point in post-acute COVID-19 patients with respiratory complaints. Study design: This is a ZonMw funded single center prospective observational cohort study of post-acute COVID-19 patients with respiratory complaints. Study population: We will recruit 20 adult patients, all post-ICU or post High-Flow Nasal Oxygen therapy due to there COVID-19 infection, with post-acute COVID-19 and respiratory complaints that will undergo 68Ga-FAPI PET/CT imaging to establish pulmonary fibrosis activity. Main study parameters/endpoints: To assess the degree of Fibroblast Activation Protein expression on 68Ga-FAPI PET/CT at least 3 months after hospital discharge and to relate this to interstitial lung abnormalities on HRCT at the same time point.

Contact a Trial Team

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International Sites

University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands




University Medical Center Groningen

Groningen, , 9713GZ

Site Contact

Riemer Slart, Prof MD PhD


0625650044 #+31