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Researchers have identified abnormalities in the lungs of long COVID patients who are experiencing breathlessness that cannot be detected with routine tests.

An MRI scanner at the Churchill Hospital

The EXPLAIN study, which involves teams in Oxford, Sheffield, Cardiff and Manchester, is using hyperpolarised xenon MRI scans to investigate possible lung damage in long COVID patients who have not been hospitalised with COVID-19 but who continue to experience breathlessness.

The study, which received government funding in 2021, is supported by the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC). The findings were posted on the medRxiv pre-print server.

A previous study had used the same cutting-edge method of imaging to establish that there was persistent lung abnormalities in patients who had been hospitalised with COVID-19 several months after they were discharged.

Read the full story on the Oxford BRC website

You can also read more on the Department of Physiology, Anatomy & Genetics website or the Department of Oncology website.

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