After decades of research, two therapies for chronic fibrotic lung disease are now approved by the FDA, with dozens more anti-fibrotic therapies in the pipeline. A great deal of enthusiasm has been generated for the use of these drugs, which are by no means curative but clearly have a favorable impact on lung function decline over time. Amidst a flurry of newly developed and repurposed drugs to treat the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and its accompanying acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), few have emerged as effective. Historically, survivors of severe viral pneumonia and related acute lung injury with ARDS often have near full recovery of lung function. While the pathological findings of the lungs of patients with COVID-19 can be diverse, current reports have shown significant lung fibrosis predominantly in autopsy studies. There is growing enthusiasm to study anti-fibrotic therapy for inevitable lung fibrosis, and clinical trials are underway using currently FDA-approved anti-fibrotic therapies. Given the relatively favorable outcomes of survivors of virus-mediated ARDS and the low prevalence of clinically meaningful lung fibrosis in survivors, this perspective examines if there is a rationale for testing these repurposed antifibrotic agents in COVID-19-associated lung disease.
- COVID - 19
- MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome)
- SARS - CoV-2
ASJC Scopus subject areas