profile picture of Eastern Mediterranean & Saudi Arabia Task Force /SAPH

Eastern Mediterranean & Saudi Arabia Task Force /SAPH

Task force leaders

Abdullah Mohsin Al-Dalaan, Saudi Arabia

Paul Hassoun, United States

Type of task force


The Eastern Mediterranean & Saudi Arabian Task Force brings together world experts in the field of pulmonary hypertension to engage and collaborate on the most advanced developments in PVD research and pulmonary hypertension treatment.

2020 Annual Report

 The 13th Annual Conference of the Saudi Association for Pulmonary Hypertension SAPH2020 was concluded very successfully at Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya, Saudi Arabia on 13-15 February 2020 before the Covid-19 pandemic. This was in fact the last face-to-face conference conducted by SAPH in early 2020.

SAPH2020 included 30 international and regional faculty members and was sponsored by three main exhibitors. The three-day conference was overwhelmed by the number of attendees and the highly scientific sessions. The rich scientific programme consisted of 7 whole sessions, including a memorial lecture for one of SAPHs board members, Dr Maha Al Dabbagh. Scientific sessions included the current updates of PH, PAH challenging cases, CTD-PAH, CTEPH etc. Each 20 minute session consists of 4-5 lectures finishing with a 10 minute question and answer panel discussion. All the dynamic sessions were highlighting the technological innovation and medical finding which was presented by the most prominent speakers including eight international faculty members.

These lectures were reviewed and commented by the chairs of each session, which created a very interactive environment for all the participants in SAPH2020. All five discussants who were leading the ‘Challenging Cases session’ summarised and pointed out the analysation for each case presented. The Conference was concluded with the session on chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) that addressed the audience with rich information about CTEPH. The Gala Dinner was arranged at King Abdulaziz Historical Center, Riyadh, KSA with special arrangements for all the SAPH faculty members and attendees on the second day of the conference.

As usual, collaboration between Saudi Association for Pulmonary Hypertension (SAPH) and the Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute (PVRI) underlining the main elements on Pulmonary Hypertension lead to a very successful conference. We appreciate PVRI for their continuous support to SAPH. In addition to the international speakers, attendees were also utilising their opportunity to clarify doubts and gain knowledge on the topics presented, their active participation made the conference a quality-driven programme. The success of the conference was measured and inferred by the collected feedback forms from the participants and attendees.

The rapidly developing Covid-19 pandemic led the conference committee to decide the upcoming events will be conducted online.

  • 12-13 June - PHundamentals
    This year was the beginning of an annual initiative between SAPH and Janssen, the PHundamentals. The programme was rich and delivered by twelve leaders in pulmonary hypertension. The event was observed by more than 350 from 14 countries.
  • 26 September - Monthly PH club
    This one and a half hour event was organised by the Pulmonary Vascular Unit at Prince Sultan Military Medical City on 26 September 2020 and consisted of two prominent cases.

  • 16-17 October Eastern Province Virtual Activity
    The webinar was conducted by Saud Al Babtain Cardiac Center endorsed by SAPH. Even though all subsequent events were held virtually, we were delighted to receive significant support from all participants through listening to the lectures and being a part of the question and answer sessions.

  • 26 October - Switching from Research to Practice
    Switching from Research to Practice webinar was conducted with support from Bayer. This online scientific webinar consisted of various interesting topics and was concluded with an effective discussion session.

The online events ran smoothly and were much more enjoyable and successful than we had expected. We received a lot of positive feedback, both informally and in the survey that we sent out to our participants after the conferences.

Future Conferences.

  • 18-20 February 2021 - SAPH 2021 virtual conference
    The 14th Annual Conference of the Saudi Association of Pulmonary Hypertension will be held virtually. Collocating the most influential topics and sharing the best practices around the globe for next SAPH Conferences. In continuation of the success from the past years, we will include an expert panel, compromising of prominent speakers who will present their expertise in the field of pulmonary hypertension.


2019 Annual Report

Educational events

  • Pulmonary Hypertension Master Class Course, 14-15 Oct 2019, King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre, Riyadh, KSA, in collaboration with University of California San Diego. 

Regional activities

  • 13th PVRI Annual World Congress on Pulmonary Vascular Disease, 31 January to 3 February 2019, Barcelona, Spain
  • SAPH 12th Annual Conference, 14-16 February 2019, Manama, Bahrain (see following report)
  • Middle East & North Africa Pulmonary Hypertension forum, 25-26 October 2019, Dubai, UAE 

Research (current initiatives)

  • EMEA CTEPH Registry: An international prospective registry investigating the epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment of CTEPH patients (chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension) in EMEA countries (RAC #2161033)
  • EXPERT, EXPosurE Registry RiociguaT in Patients with Pulmonary Hypertension (RAC # 2161038)
  • Systematic Prospective Follow Up for Better Understanding of Clinical Characteristics of Patients with PH Disease (SAUDIPH) Registry (RAC # 2171148)
  • Prevalence of Genetic Factors in Saudi Patients with Idiopathic Pulmonary Hypertension (RAC # 2161062)
  • Transition of Bosentan to Macitentan in the treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension – comparison of clinical outcome (RAC # 2171190) 

12th Annual Conference of the Saudi Association for Pulmonary Hypertension

 SAPH2019, held in Bahrain on 14-16 February 2019, brought together physicians of the Middle East and North African countries and world experts in the field of pulmonary hypertension to engage and collaborate on the most advanced developments in the understanding and management of the disease. 

The on-going collaboration between the Saudi Association for Pulmonary Hypertension (SAPH) and the Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute continues to be highly successful, as illustrated by the increased numbers of participants at SAPH2019, which included 30 international and regional faculty members, and 190 delegates (up from 120 in 2018). 

The three-day event consisted of eight whole sessions on pulmonary hypertension, with 20-minute lectures followed by a 10-minute discussion. A Gala Dinner was held at the Ritz Carlton at the end of the second day. 

An exceptional inaugural session, starting with an opening ceremony and welcome notes by SAPH2019 representatives, was followed by lively and thought-provoking discussion, highlighting new technological innovations and medical findings surrounding pulmonary vascular disease, which were reviewed and debated by all speakers.

These experts included PVRI invited speakers Professors Allan Lawrie (University of Sheffield) and Luke Howard (Imperial College London), as well various international speakers. Stimulating topics included: 

  • Pulmonary hypertension (PH) in paediatrics
  • Congenital heart disease and PH
  • Connective tissue disease and PAH
  • 6th World PH Symposia
  • Lectures from PVRI invited speakers 

Case study presentations covered the entire spectrum of pulmonary arterial hypertension, including PAH in pregnancy and a case of portopulmonary hypertension (PPH). Three discussants, leading challenging case presentations, analysed each presented case. 

The conference concluded with a session on chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH), led by the most prominent speakers. The quality-driven programme promoted active participation from the delegates. 

We would like to thank the two PVRI sponsored speakers, Allan Lawrie and Luke Howard, for their input and contributions. 

To continue to enhance the quality of the conference, SAPH2020, to be held on 13-15 February 2020 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, will compile a programme consisting of the most influential topics and shared practices around the globe. It will also comprise an expert panel of prominent speakers, who will present their expertise in the field of pulmonary hypertension at national level.

Further information

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