Skip to main content

Ser Cymru (COVID-19 and hypertensive patients on ACE-inhibitors)

Summary of study

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, there has been debate regarding the use of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme inhibitors (ACEi) as a treatment for hypertensive patients because of angiotensin-converting enzyme receptor’s role in respiratory disease as well as hypertension. Although the treatment of hypertension with ACEi in patients with COVID-19 does not seem to increase death rates, several reports have associated damage to the inner layer of arteries – called the endothelium – and stroke with COVID-19. This raises the possibility of widespread circulatory damage from large arteries to the smaller arteries in the brain in those hypertensive patients surviving COVID-19. However, at present, the effects of such endothelial damage on patients’ arteries and cerebral function following recovery from COVID-19 in hypertension patients on ACEi therapy, remains unknown.

This observational study will investigate the impact of a previous COVID-19 infection on peripheral artery endothelial and cerebral function in hypertensive patients on long-term ACE-inhibitors. Hypertensive patients with a previous COVID-19 diagnosis will be assessed 4-6 months post-recovery, before and after taking their routine daily anti-hypertension treatment (ACEi) and compared to hypertension patients without previous COVID-19. Peripheral artery endothelial function as well as cerebral endothelial and neurovascular function will be assessed using non-invasive ultrasound and MRI, respectively. The findings will provide an indication of the potential long-term damage caused by COVID-19 on peripheral artery endothelial and cerebral function, in hypertensive patients on ACEi.

Cedar’s role

Cedar is working with Cardif Met (Sponsor) and CUBRIC (Cardiff University) to help deliver this project. Cedar is coordinating the screening and scanning of participants and managing other elements of the study.

Study details

Full title: An observational study, investigating the impact of COVID-19 on endothelial and neurovascular function in patients with pre-existing Hypertension

Principal Investigator: Dr Barry McDonnell, Cardiff Metropolitan University

Sponsor: Cardiff Metropolitan University

Funding: Ser Cymru

Cedar Lead: Dr Laura Knight

Ethical approval: Ref 21/WA/0129