Ongoing Research

Involving more than 40 centers in 21 countries, the European wide CARTESIAN study [Bruno] is claimed to be “the first international multicentre study into the effects of COVID-19 on non-invasive biomarkers of vascular ageing”. “The main study objective is to evaluate the presence of Early Vascular Ageing (EVA) 6 and 12 months after COVID-19 infection.” Objectives also include the Investigation of changes in the arterial properties in the carotid, radial and digital arteries by standard and ultra­high-frequency ultrasound; endothelial dysfunction in the brachial artery by Flow Mediated Dilation; micro-macrovas­culature crosstalk alterations by wave separation/intensity analysis of aortic pressure and flow curves; 24 h-central blood pressure (in equipped centers). Also carotid-femoral Pulse Wave Velocity (cfPWV) and brachial as well as central pressure will be measured using the VICORDER® among other admitted instruments.

Duration of the main study observations will be six months with a planned follow-up extension of up to 10 years.


    Germany has established NAPKON, a National Pandemia Cohort Network (Nationales Pandemie Kohorten Netz [NAPKON]) that has recruited more than 3500 participants so far (Oct 2021). “All activities within NAPKON converge in a comprehensive, harmonized collection and use of data and bio-samples … with the involvement of all health sectors, focusing on university medical centers. The structure of the network using the example of the current COVID-19 pandemic ensures time and cost-efficient use of resources with high data and biomaterial quality and centrally coordinated access options.