Measurement of the chemical messenger endothelin-1 in the blood of patients with Covid-19

Study code

Lead researcher
Dr Joseph Cheriyan

Study type
Samples and data

Institution or company
University of Cambridge

Researcher type

Speciality area
Infection, COVID


Endothelin is a chemical messenger that is normally present at low levels in specialised cells that line all blood vessels in the body.

In heart and lung disease, increased amounts of endothelin causes unwanted narrowing of blood vessels, damage to the heart, and contributes to forming blood clots and hardening of the arteries. In patients with Covid-19, the cells lining blood vessels may become damaged, releasing higher than normal amounts of endothelin into the blood.

The aim of this study is to measure the amount of endothelin in the blood of patients who have tested positive for the virus, becoming very ill and requiring treatment in hospital. This will be compared with the levels of endothelin in blood from individuals who are healthy and have a negative test for the virus. We expect the endothelin levels measured will be higher in patients who require hospital treatment. This will provide evidence to support future clinical trials using current medicines that block the unwanted actions of too much endothelin in the treatment of Covid-19.