Pitt/UPMC Department of Anesthesiology News
April 2016

Faculty News
Dr. Yan Xu
The article "
Percolating Brains " in the fall 2015 issue of Pitt Med featured the research of Yan Xu, PhD on a percolation model of consciousness and sensory transmission under anesthesia. This article was also one of the featured stories on the University of Pittsburgh's website

The University of Pittsburgh paid tribute to the outstanding achievements of its faculty and students at its 40th annual Honors Convocation on Saturday, February 26, 2016, at the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh Music Hall in Oakland.
Congratulations to the following department faculty members who were honored at the event for their accomplishments during 2015 (pictured above, L to R):
  • Michael P. Mangione, MD for receiving the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System Outstanding Physician of the Year Award
  • David G. Metro, MD for election into the Association of University Anesthesiologists (AUA) and the School of Medicine's Academy of Master Educators (AME)
  • Rita M. Patel, MD for election to the Academy of Education Mentors in Anesthesiology
  • Raymond M. Planinsic, MD for election into the AUA
  • Ryan C. Romeo, MD for receiving the 2015 Clerkship Preceptor of the Year Award
  • Tetsuro Sakai, MD, PhD for election into the AUA, the AME, and for his Visiting Professorship at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
  • William Simmons, MD for receiving the Jefferson Award for Volunteerism
  • Erin A. Sullivan, MD for election into the AUA

Dr. Brian Williams
Congratulations to Brian A. Williams, MD, MBA, whose project "Design the Anesthetic to Meet the WAKE Score" has been declared by VA Central Office as a "Gold Status Promising Practice," the highest achievement conferred to the top 10 of 250 total submissions for the VA's Promising Practice National Consortium. As part of this honor, the project will be implemented at other VA medical centers, facilities, and regions. Dr. Williams has been invited to participate in the "Diffusion of Excellence" implementation phase of the project as a Best Practice Fellow.
Dr. Michael Kentor
This project builds upon the "WAKE Score," which was created in 1997 by Drs. Brian A. Williams and Michael L. Kentor and outlines recovery parameters after anesthesia and/or moderate sedation
, including Phase 1 PACU Bypass immediately after operating room exit . Between 2009 and 2011, WAKE became the UPMC standard for recovery scoring across all UPMC hospitals. In 2011, t he WAKE Score replaced the Aldrete Recovery Score at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System.

Dr. Erin Sullivan
Congratulations to Erin A. Sullivan, MD, who was appointed to the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists Sub-Committee on Economics and Governmental Affairs for a two year term.  


Congratulations to Andrew Herlich, DMD, MD, FAAP, who was invited to serve on the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) Opioid Advisory Task Force. The task force works with Pennsylvania Legislature to combat the state's prescription drug abuse crisis and develop responsible prescribing guidelines for the treatment of chronic pain. 

Greg Rompala
Dr. Gregg Homanics

Congratulations to Gregory Rompala, a Center for Neuroscience graduate student working in the research lab of Gregg E. Homanics, PhD. Greg was invited to present a poster and platform presentation at the Gordon Conference on Alcohol & the Nervous System, which was held in Galveston, TX from February 7-12, 2016.  The title of his poster and talk was "Paternal Chronic Variable Stress Reduces Ethanol Drinking Behavior Selectively in Male Offspring."

Dr. Homanics was also interviewed about his research on paternal alcohol exposure in an article on how fathers' pre-pregnancy behavior affects their offspring posted on the Today Show's website.

Dr. Mark Hudson
Congratulations to Mark E. Hudson, MD, MBA, who was recently promoted to Professor of Anesthesiology.
Dr. Hudson is Executive Vice-Chair and Vice-Chair for Clinical Operations for the department. He has served the department for over 20 years in many capacities as an attending anesthesiologist, educator, clinical researcher, and administrative leader. As an attending anesthesiologist, he has and continues to be an active member of the Cardiac Anesthesiology division. As an awarded educator, he continues to be actively involved in all aspect of medical education. As a clinical researcher, he is recognized as an innovative operational expert. Dr. Hudson's administrative responsibilities have progressed throughout his career in the department, starting with his first leadership role as Anesthesiology Chair and Chief at UPMC Shadyside. In addition to his accomplishments in the department, his clinical research in the field of operational management and healthcare economics has been recognized both nationally and internationally. Dr. Hudson was also recently named the inaugural holder of the Richard J. Kuwik Professorship of Anesthesiology.

Dr. Michael Gold
Congratulations to Michael S. Gold, PhD, who will receive the 30th F.W.L. Kerr Award for Basic Science Research at the annual scientific meeting of the American Pain Society, to be held in Austin, TX, from May 11-14, 2016. The award recognizes individual excellence and achievements in pain research and is presented to a pain researcher whose total career achievements - innovative research, skilled mentorship, and exceptional service - make outstanding contributions to the field.  Dr. Gold will be honored for his early work characterizing the role of voltage-gated Na+ channels in the initiation and maintenance of both inflammatory and neuropathic pain, as well as his more recent investigations into mechanisms of migraine and persistent inflammation. Dr. Gold employs a "reverse translation" strategy in his lab, working back from clinical problems to identify mechanistic underpinnings.

The article " UPMC doctors get patients fit to speed recovery from surgery ," published in the March 14, 2016 edition of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, features UPMC's Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) program, led by Stephen A. Esper, MD, MBA and colorectal surgeon Dr. Jennifer Holder-Murray. 

Faculty, fellows, and residents from our department will give the following presentations at the 41st Annual American Society of Regional Anesthesiology and Acute Pain Medicine (ASRA) Meeting, which will be held from March 31-April 2, 2016 in New Orleans, LA (department names bolded):
Hands-On Workshop (WS-09): High Fidelity Simulator for Thoracic Blocks
Thursday, March 31, 1:15-3:15pm, Blue Room
Intercostal Blocks: Steven L. Orebaugh, MD
Comprehensive Workshop (WS-15): Upper Extremity Blocks
Friday, April 1, 8:00am-12:00pm, Conti/Lafitte
Block at the Cords, Peripheral Nerve Blocks (Axillary and Distal Approaches): Rebecca Johnson, MD; Colin McCartney, MBChB, PhD; Steven L. Orebaugh, MD
E-poster: Medication Spread after Pediatric Bilateral Single Injection Ultrasound Guided Rectus Sheath Blocks
Ali Hassanpour, MD ; John Hauber; Lendi Joy; Stefan Scholz, MD, PhD, FACS, FAAP; Mihaela Visoiu, MD (presenter)
Moderated oral/poster presentation: Paravertebral Nerve Blocks for Adolescent Breast Surgery: A Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Clinical Pathway
Thursday March 31, 10:15-11:45am, Moderated Session MP-02, Napoleon Room
Brent McNew, MD (presenter); Lorelei Grunwaldt, MD; Mihaela Visoiu, MD
Oral presentation: Continuous Paravertebral Nerve Blockade for Postoperative Analgesia after Pediatric Nuss Procedure, A CHP of UPMC Pain Management Protocol
Saturday, April 2, 10:15am 
Saifeldin Mahmoud, MBChB, MSc, PhD (presenter); Tyson Smith; Yukli Elliott, MD; Stefan Scholz, MD, PhD, FACS, FAAP; Barbara Gaines, MD; Lendi Joy; Mihaela Visoiu, MD
Medically Challenging Case Poster: Peripheral Nerve Blockade as Perioperative Anesthetic and Pain Management of Patient with Severe Aortic Stenosis for Charcot Foot Reconstruction
Thursday, March 31, 6:30pm
Alex Dressler, MD (presenter); Kristin Ondecko Ligda, MD
Oral presentation: Improving Measures of Quality and Hospital Accountability in Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Retrospective Review of Implementation of Low-Volume, Low-Concentration, Continuous Motor Sparing Blocks
Moderated session (MP-11), Saturday, April 2, 2:00-3:30pm, Napoleon Room
Kevin King, DO (presenter); Charles Luke, MD, MBA; Luca LaColla, MD; Daniel R. Sullivan, MD, JD, MBA; Jonathan H. Waters, MD
Poster: The Physical Relationship of the Sciatic Nerve and its Paraneural Sheath
Friday, April 1, 9:45-9:55am
Nicole Verdecchia, MD (presenter); Vladyslav Melnyk, MD; Joseph E. Pichamuthu, MS; David A. Vorp, PhD; Steven L. Orebaugh, MD
Oral e-poster Presentation: Decreased Ventilator and Mortality Impact of Paravertebral Nerve Catheters on Outcome of Trauma Patients with Multiple Rib Fractures: A Retrospective Analysis
Thursday, March 31, 8-9:30am
Nicholas J. Schott, MD ; Beverly A Pearce-Smith, MD (presenter) ; Jacques E. Chelly, MD, PhD, MBA; James W. Ibinson MD, PhD; Jason Sperry, MD, MPH; Louis Alarcon, MD
Medically Challenging Case: Anesthetic Management of an Emergent Umbilical Hernia Repair in a Cirrhotic Child C Patient Utilizing Surgical Transversus Abdominis Plane Nerve Block
Friday, April 1
David Yui, MD (presenter); Shashank Saxena, MD; Catalin Ezaru, MD
Poster: Bilateral Continuous Superficial Peroneal Nerve Blockade for Postoperative Pain Management for an Acute Burn Injury
Friday, April 1, 9:55-10:05am
Vikram Bansal, MD (former pain medicine fellow, presenter); Emerson Conrad III, MD; Vladislav Shick, MD      

Poster: Continuous Bilateral Sciatic Nerve Blocks in a Patient with Bilateral Lower Extremity Burns Requiring Early Ambulation
Friday, April 1, 7:50-8:00am
Marsha Ritter Jones, MD PhD  (presenter) and  Manisha Loomba Trivedi, MD
  click on each photo to enlarge

Our CRNAs at UPMC Presbyterian recently served their seventh "Souper Bowl" dinner. This year, the group prepared and served food to nearly 80-85 patients and their family members at Shadyside Family House. They also donated some gift cards with surplus money from their CRNA winter party.


CRNA Grand Rounds were held on January 26, 2016 at the University Club in celebration of Nurse Anesthetist Week (January 24-30, 2016). The speakers were Michael Jordan, CRNA, MSN from UPMC Presbyterian and Francis Feld, CRNA, MSN from UPMC Passavant.
This bi-annual event features CRNA speakers presenting on case studies and updates in clinical practice.
The next CRNA Grand Rounds will take place in the fall again at the University Club.
Pictures from 
Recent Resident Events
click on each photo to enlarge

Residents and attendings celebrating the birthday of OB anesthesiology fellow Eleni Kotsis

Residents and attendings representing the Pennsylvania Society of Anesthesiologists at an event hosted by PA House of Representatives Democratic Leader Frank Dermody. Top photo: the group with Mr. Dermody; bottom photo: the group with Pittsburgh's Mayor Bill Peduto.

F or more information and updates on what our residents are up to, 
Recent Publications
McHugh SM, Kolarczyk L, Lang RS, Wei LM, Marquez J, Subramaniam K. A comparison of high-dose and low-dose tranexamic acid antifibrinolytic protocols for primary coronary artery bypass surgery. Indian Journal of Anesthesia. 2016; 60(2):94-101.

Kaynar AM, Bakalov V, Laverde SM, Cambriel AI, Lee BH, Towheed A, Gregory AD, Webb SA, Palladino MJ, Bozza FA, Shapiro SD, Angus DC. Cost of surviving sepsis: a novel model of recovery from sepsis in Drosophila melanogaster. Intensive care medicine experimental. 2016;4(1):4. PMC Link
Kaynar AM, Nowalk MP, Lin CJ, Moehling KK, Susick M, Bakalov V, Pitt BR, Bain DJ, Ross TM, Saul SG, Zimmerman RK. Are plasma mineral levels related to antibody response to influenza vaccination in older adults? Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics. 2016; 10.1080/21645515.2015.1113358:00-00. PubMed Link

Williams BA, Ibinson JW, Gould AJ, Mangione MP. The Incidence of Peripheral Nerve Injury After Multimodal Perineural Anesthesia/Analgesia Does Not Appear to Differ from That Following Single-Drug Nerve Blocks (2011-2014). Pain Med. 2016 2016/02/21. PubMed Link
Abuelkasem E, Lu S, Tanaka K, Planinsic R, Sakai T. Comparison between thrombelastography and thromboelastometry in hyperfibrinolysis detection during adult liver transplantation. British Journal of Anaesthesia. 2016; 10.1093/bja/aew023.

Lim G, Krohner RG, Metro DG, Rosario BL, Jeong JH, Sakai T. Low-Fidelity Haptic Simulation Versus Mental Imagery Training for Epidural Anesthesia Technical Achievement in Novice Anesthesiology Residents: A Randomized Comparative Study. Anesth Analg. 2016/03/24. PubMed Link
Save the Date!
November 4-6, 2016

Redesigning the Perioperative Process: Prehabilitation, ERAS, and Acute Pain Management
A UPMC Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine Symposium

Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Farmington, PA

More information to come!
Department Members to Present at 2016 AUA and IARS Meetings

The following department faculty, fellows, and residents (names bolded) will present at the 2016 meetings of the Association of University Anesthesiologists (AUA) and International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS), both of which are being held in San Francisco, CA.
AUA 63rd Annual Meeting, May 19-20, 2016
Thursday, May 19, 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Adams PS , Zahid M, Khalifa O, Lo CW. Increased use of Inhaled Nitric Oxide in Single Ventricle Patients with Low Nasal Nitric Oxide Undergoing Congenital Heart Surgery
Friday, May 20, 10:15 AM - 11:45 AM
Ibinson JW , Becker CJ, Vogt KM. Development of a Functional Connectivity Tool for Identifying Pain
Vogt KM , Ibinson JW, Tremel J, Reder LM, Fiez JA. Modulation of Long-term Auditory Memory by Acute Pain, Including During Sedation with Midazolam and Dexmedetomidine
IARS Annual Meeting and International Science Symposium: Improving Health through Discovery and Education, May 21-24, 2016

Saturday, May 21, 2:45 PM - 4:15 PM
Scientific Abstract Session: Economics, Education and Policy
Reviewer: Tetsuro Sakai, MD, PhD
Sunday, May 22, 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Sara Straesser (PGY-2 Resident): The Effect of Anesthetic Agents on Markers of Neurologic Injury in Juvenile Rats

Sunday May 22, 2:45 PM - 4:15 PM
Abuelkasem E , Planinsic RM. Combined Non-transplant Cardiac Surgery and Liver Transplantation: Atrial Mass Resection Followed by Liver Transplantation
Monday, May 23, 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Adams PS , Zahid M, Khalifa O, Lo CW. Increased Use of Inhaled Nitric Oxide in Single Ventricle Patients with Low Nasal Nitric Oxide Undergoing Congenital Heart Surgery
Becker CJ, Vogt KM, Ibinson JW. Validation of Insula Connectivity Changes during Pain
Monday May 23, 2:45 PM - 4:15 PM
Vogt KM , Ibinson JW, Tremel J, Reder LM, Fiez JA.  Acute Experimental Pain Affects Long-Term Memory of Auditory Cues Presented During Sedation with Dexmedetomidine & Midazolam