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Kitamoto lab

The Department of Anesthesia participates in both basic science and clinical investigation. Check out some of our current research and publications below:


Katherine Hadlandsmyth co-authored a study comparing psychometric properties of the PROMS short form 6a and GAD-7


Rachel Hadler, MD, co-authored a study on escalation and withdrawal of treatment for patients on ECMO


Stephen Hays, MD, FAAP, co-authored editorial expressing concern about recommendations to avoid opioid use for pediatric patients


Drs. Loftus and Dexter co-authored an editorial regarding disinfecting for COVID-19


Amy Pearson, MD, co-authored an editorial urging pain medicine practitioners to do more to combat racial inequities in their specialty


Drs. Ranganath and Sondekoppam published an article on the impact of paravertebral blocks on VATS outcomes


Archit Sharma, MD, MBA, co-authored new recommendations regarding PoCUS guidelines


Drs. Thenuwara and Wong co-authored an editorial advocating more deliberate language choice when reporting on racial inequities in health care


Drs. Titler and Dexter co-authored a tutorial on resident assignments and productivity


Cynthia Wong, MD, co-authored an editorial regarding neuraxial anesthesia and platelet count


Investigating non-invasive techniques to detect spinal cord ischemia

Lovkesh Arora, MBBS, MD, is conducting research to see if non-invasive Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) can alert anesthesiologists to possible spinal cord ischemia (SCI) during a procedure.
SCI remains a major concern during open and endovascular repair of descending thoracic aneurysms and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms (TAAAs). It occurs in 8-10 percent of patients and can result in partial or total paralysis that may last hours, days, weeks, or months. Although the etiology of SCI is multifactorial, coverage of large aortic segments, insufficient collaterals, arterial embolization, and systemic hypotension are the main predisposing factors during endovascular TAAAs.

“When a patient gets spinal cord ischemia, our answers are still very vague,” Arora says. “When a family asks how much the patient is going to improve, we don’t know. When they ask how much time it will take to pass off, we don’t know. So I strongly believe the best approach is to prevent this complication, to not let it happen.”
One possible way to prevent spinal cord ischemia is to insert a lumbar drain before the procedure to reduce the pressure around the spinal cord. Another method is neuro monitoring, specifically SSEP (SomatoSensory Evoked Potential Monitoring) and MEP (Motor Evoked Potential Monitoring), which can be done during the procedure to immediately recognize SCI and may allow the use of maneuvers to optimize spinal cord perfusion. However, SSEP and MEP are invasive, and their accuracy can be affected by anesthetic agents. Arora is investigating whether he can get the same information from non-invasive NIRS patches.
Learn more about this research by watching the video:

"Training" a ventilator to adapt to individual patient needs

David Kaczka, MD, PhD, is the principal investigator on a subaward from the U.S. Department of Defense to develop a computational model for transport ventilators the military uses on patients with a variety of lung injuries.

Kaczka hopes his research will produce a model that can direct time-controlled adaptive ventilation (TCAV) settings on a transport ventilator to provide optimal lung support that is tailored to an individual patient’s pathophysiology.

“There’s no set way to ventilate a lung, and what works for one patient may actually cause more damage to another patient,” Kaczka says. “We hope that we can use our computational model to modify a military transport ventilator so that personnel in far-forward locations have, essentially, an ICU-grade ventilator to help their patients.”

Watch the video to learn more about this project:

Clinical investigations occur in several subspecialties, including:

  • Cardiothoracic Anesthesia
  • Chronic Pain Medicine
  • Critical Care Medicine
  • Neuroanesthesia
  • Obstetrical Anesthesia
  • Operating Room Management
  • Pediatric Anesthesia
  • Regional Anesthesiology and Acute Pain Medicine

Basic science research topics include:

  • Acute pain
  • Chronic pain after surgery
  • Analgesic pharmacology
  • Novel anesthetic drug synthesis
  • Effects of drugs on learning and memory