Palliative care in pulmonary arterial hypertension: An underutilised treatment

Ghaleb Khirfan, Adriano R. Tonelli, Jennifer Ramsey, Sandeep Sahay

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a condition characterised by increased pulmonary vascular resistance which can lead to right heart failure and premature death. It imposes a significant burden on patients’ lives, affecting their physical, emotional and social wellbeing. Pharmacological therapies are the mainstay of treatment; while they are not curative, they can alleviate patient suffering, improve quality of life and delay disease progression. Despite these therapies, disease progresses in a significant number of patients, who are faced with the debilitating symptoms of PAH and treatment adverse effects. Palliative care is focused on providing relief from symptoms caused by a chronic illness. Palliative care aims to improve the health-related quality of life for patients and families, and although it is deemed appropriate at any stage of disease, it is most helpful when explored early in the course of disease. Importantly, palliative care can be provided in concert with pharmacological treatment. Despite its potential benefits, palliative care is frequently underutilised. There is a paucity of clinical studies testing the impact of palliative care in PAH which prompted us to summarise the available evidence, recognise obstacles in its utilisation and identify areas for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number180069
JournalEuropean Respiratory Review
Issue number150
StatePublished - 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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