COVID-19 and pulmonary fibrosis: therapeutics in clinical trials, repurposing, and potential development

Joowon Yim, Hee Hyun Lim, Youngjoo Kwon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


In 2019, an unprecedented disease named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) emerged and spread across the globe. Although the rapid transmission of COVID-19 has resulted in thousands of deaths and severe lung damage, conclusive treatment is not available. However, three COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized, and two more will be approved soon, according to a World Health Organization report on December 12, 2020. Many COVID-19 patients show symptoms of acute lung injury that eventually leads to pulmonary fibrosis. Our aim in this article is to present the relationship between pulmonary fibrosis and COVID-19, with a focus on angiotensin converting enzyme-2. We also evaluate the radiological imaging methods computed tomography (CT) and chest X-ray (CXR) for visualization of patient lung condition. Moreover, we review possible therapeutics for COVID-19 using four categories: treatments related and unrelated to lung disease and treatments that have and have not entered clinical trials. Although many treatments have started clinical trials, they have some drawbacks, such as short-term and small-group testing, that need to be addressed as soon as possible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-513
Number of pages15
JournalArchives of Pharmacal Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Pharmaceutical Society of Korea.


  • Angiotensin converting enzyme-2
  • COVID-19-induced lung damage
  • Possible therapeutics
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Radiological imaging method


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