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The American College of Radiology® (ACR®) Center for Research and Innovation™ (CRI) will serve as the imaging coordination center for the multicenter COVID-19 Observational Study (CORAL) led by Dr. Catherine “Terri” L. Hough of the Oregon Health & Science University. The CORAL Study is part of the Prevention & Early Treatment of Acute Lung Injury (PETAL) Network, a consortium of academic and affiliated hospitals across the United States – funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health – to conduct clinical trials in patients with or at risk for critical illness, including acute respiratory distress syndrome.

The purpose of CORAL is to inform epidemiology and resource utilization through three interrelated approaches: a registry; a detailed cohort, including a bio-specimen collection correlated with clinical phenotyping and outcomes; and a health system assessment. In collaboration with CORAL leadership, and following standards developed for this study, the ACR CRI will collect imaging exams on registry subjects, create a link between the images and clinical data collected by PETAL, archive images throughout study duration and, once complete, make images accessible to researchers.

At present, little is known about the epidemiology of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States. Rapid expansion of cases across this country and others necessitates urgent study of severe acute COVID-19 in order to care for patients, inform and develop treatments, target therapeutics, prognosticate and understand health system impacts. The CORAL Study is a responsive effort to these needs.

“We at the ACR are pleased and proud to be part of the effort by our colleagues who are caring for patients suffering with COVID-19 who require hospital care. We hope the collection of imaging and clinical data that the PETAL project creates will lead to improved treatment and diagnosis of COVID-19 complications, including advanced lung disease, stroke and cardiac dysfunction,” says Etta Pisano, MD, chief research officer of the ACR.

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