Mapping Organ Health following COVID-19 Disease due to SARS-CoV-2 infection

Area of work


Imaging modality


Size of data set


Project lead

Rajarshi Banerjee

Industry partners

Number of NHS partners


COVERSCAN is the first study to map how COVID-19 impacts the health of multiple organs and identify at-risk features for the viral disease, with detailed cross-sectional imaging and genetic studies. The primary objective is to determine the prevalence and degree of lung, heart, kidney, liver, pancreas and spleen injury in a cohort of patients recovering from COVID-19 disease. Over a period of 24 months, the study aims to recruit over 500 patients recovering from COVID-19 disease following SARS-CoV-2 infection. The research also seeks to assess change in the health of multiple organs and whether genetic traits may influence recovery. This project is jointly supported by NCIMI, European Commission (Horizon 2020) and Perspectum.

Project aim and objectives

  • To determine the prevalence of heart, kidney, liver, lung, pancreas and spleen injury in a cohort of patients recovering from COVID-19 disease, using multi-parametric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • To assess change in liver fat and fibro-inflammation with multiparametric MRI
  • To characterise changes in quantified MRI biomarkers from the heart, kidney, liver, pancreas and spleen.
  • To evaluate patient-reported outcome measures on post COVID-19 recovery management
  • To evaluate genetic traits which may influence liver recovery
  • To evaluate the correlation between image-derived biomarkers, circulating biomarkers and genetic traits as markers of organ damage.
  • In a healthy volunteer cohort, to determine the measurement of test-retest repeatability of all metrics in the target patient population by examining the test-retest variability within a single scanning session.

Achievement stats

 As of 6th November 2020, 404 participants have been recruited to the study.

The interim analysis has been completed and the first manuscript has been drafted.

Results so far

Initial results suggest that 40% of COVERSCAN participants present with single organ injury, and 14% had evidence of multiorgan injury. There was little evidence of decreased lung function in our population (only 3% of patients). This may suggest that decreased lung function in the post-COVID recovery period is rare.

In the heart we have found that 39% of patients had reduced ventricular ejection fraction, that measures how much blood the ventricle pumps out with each contraction and of these, 11% also had signs of any other ventricular or pumping problem, this was observed in a higher proportion of males than females. These results demonstrate that there is evidence of heart injury persistent ~ 3 months post-viral infection.

In the kidneys, 14% of patients had evidence of inflammation, and 11% showed abnormalities in the structural integrity of the organ.

Multi-organ impairment was associated with hospitalisation. Patients hospitalised had higher BMI, liver and pancreatic fat, indicating that fat accumulation in the organs is a risk factor for severity. This aligns with previous research done by this company on UKBB population.

Our results can inform modelling the long-term effects of COVID-19 and the resulting impact on health services and patient care.

Organ impairment found in heart (32%), lungs (33%), kidneys (12%), liver (10%), pancreas (17%) and spleen (6%). Multi-organ impairment found in 25%.