PETAL Network investigators to discuss COVID-19 research studies

Lora Reineck, MD, MS
Lora Reineck, MD, MS

In 2014, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) launched the PETAL (Prevention and Early Treatment of Acute Lung Injury) Network to conduct high-impact clinical trials in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) through collaboration between critical care and emergency medicine. Over the last year, PETAL has pivoted to conduct significant research in patients hospitalized with COVID-19.

During the plenary presentation PETAL Network: 2021 Progress Report on Tuesday at 8:00 am CT, investigators will provide updates on both COVID and non-COVID research conducted during the pandemic.

“There are about 50 hospitals across the United States that are involved in PETAL Network studies and, when the COVID-19 pandemic began, it was really helpful to have an existing research network in place that was able to quickly transition its focus to COVID-specific questions,” said Lora Reineck, MD, MS, Acting Chief of the NHLBI Lung Biology and Disease Branch, who will chair the session. “That helped us to get some studies up and running very quickly, and we’re starting to get some important answers related to COVID much faster than we could have if we’d had to start from scratch.”

Among the studies that will be discussed, Ithan Peltan, MD, MSc, will provide an update on the CORAL Studies, a series of observational studies looking at different ways that COVID-19 affects patients and what factors influence patient outcomes in both the short- and long-term.

“They’ve completed enrollment of patients hospitalized with COVID and are following patients up to 1 year after hospitalization to look at outcomes, both during the hospital stay, as well as after hospitalization, and trying to use that to identify things that improve outcomes and what some of the risk factors are for worse outcomes,” Dr. Reineck said.

Samuel Brown, MD, will follow with an update on the ACTIV-3b/TESICO platform trial, designed to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of different drugs in treating acute respiratory failure related to COVID-19.

“This trial is a collaboration of PETAL with other research networks—the INSIGHT Clinical Trials Network, the Cardiothoracic Surgical Trials Network, and Veterans Affairs,” Dr. Reineck said. “It’s focused specifically on patients with COVID-19 ARDS who are hospitalized and requiring either high levels of oxygen, mechanical ventilation, or ECMO, and they’re testing different interventions to see if any of them are effective at improving outcomes in these patients.”

Nathan I. Shapiro, MD, will conclude the presentations with a discussion of the CLOVERS Trial, a multicenter interventional study of fluid treatment strategies for patients with sepsis-induced hypotension.

“It’s looking at two different resuscitation strategies—how much fluid and how much vasopressor medication do you give people who have low blood pressure from sepsis, and which strategy helps to improve outcomes,” Dr. Reineck said. “This is a trial that was started prior to COVID, and it’s been a bit of a challenge to continue a non-COVID trial in the midst of the pandemic, but there are still people being admitted to the hospital with sepsis, and we hope to finish this important trial soon.”




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