Participant information

Overall aim of this study
The aim of this study is to set up a UK and Ireland cohort of patients with idiopathic and heritable pulmonary arterial pulmonary hypertension (PAH) for research into the causes and potential treatments of this condition.

Background to the study
Pulmonary arterial hypertension, or high blood pressure in the lungs, is a rare condition that can shorten life. Although the cause of this disease is usually unknown, in about 70% of heritable and 15-20% of idiopathic cases there is a change in a gene (a mutation) that controls how blood vessels grow and function. The gene is called BMPR2. Although mutations in BMPR2 are a risk factor for PAH, not everyone with a mutation gets the disease. Additional genetic and environmental factors are likely to contribute. In addition, we suspect that mutations in other genes are responsible for some cases of PAH. We hope to discover new mutations for this disease and to determine what factors lead to poor outcome, and to understand what triggers disease in patients with mutations.

Objectives of the study

  1. To recruit all consenting patients with idiopathic and heritable PAH in the UK and Ireland to a longitudinal study involving the collection of clinical data, blood and urine samples over a period of several years.
  2. To determine the genetic causes of PAH in these subjects.
  3. To recruit relatives of patients with PAH to regular (6 monthly) follow up with clinical testing and blood sampling.
  4. To generate a bank of progenitor cells and stem cells from PAH patients with mutations as a resource to study mechanisms of disease and the effects of potential new treatments.

Patients with idiopathic or heritable PAH will be approached at one of the nine PH centres in the UK or Ireland. You will either be sent a patient information sheet or provided with one when you attend the hospital. The study is observational and you will not usually be required to make special visits to your local PH centre. If you agree to participate you will be asked if we can take additional blood tests at each routine visit to the hospital clinic. These will be taken at the same time as your routine clinical blood tests. In addition some patients may be asked to contact their relatives to invite them to join the study. The relatives will be seen at each centre every 6 months for blood tests and some other clinical tests, including an echocardiogram.

Do I have to take part?
No. Your participation in this study is entirely voluntary and you are under no pressure to take part. It is up to you whether or not you decide to take part in this study. If you decide to take part you are still free to withdraw at any time and without giving a reason. A decision to withdraw at any time, or a decision not to take part, will not affect the standard of care you receive.

Find your nearest centre on the network map.

Patient update

Pulmonary Hypertension Association UK (PHA) website


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