Anesthesiology Research

Coupling the science of anesthesiology and biomedicine, researchers at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh have the only laboratory in the country that is pursuing the molecular mechanism action of Dantrolene, the drug used to treat a rare genetic syndrome called malignant hyperthermia, to reveal fundamental processes and the molecules responsible for calcium regulation in cells.

The lab is working toward a more complete understanding of the molecular events involved in normal skeletal muscle excitation contraction coupling as well as in malignant hyperthermia. In connection with that work, several physician anesthesiologists at Children’s Hospital support the North American Malignant Hyperthermia Registry with their volunteer work as “MH Hotline” consultants for the Malignant Hyperthermia Association of the United States (MHAUS). These physicians also work with the Center for Medical Genetics of UPMC to genotype patients with this disease.

Working in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine’s Pain Research Center, Children’s researchers are conducting studies focusing on the role of artemin growth factor in pain signaling as it relates to chronic inflammatory pain.

Anesthesiology research at Children’s also entails drug studies and techniques intended to improve surgical procedures while reducing complications related to anesthesia. For example, investigators are currently involved in multidisciplinary studies involving both anesthesia and surgical outcomes of patients undergoing minimally invasive surgery. In addition these investigators are also assessing postoperative anesthesia outcomes of neonates undergoing hernia repairs.


  • Peter Davis, MD
    Chief, Division of Pediatric Anesthesiology
  • Phillip Adams, DO
  • Brian Blasiole, MD
  • Daniela Damian, MD
  • Mihaela Visoiu, MD

Clinical Studies

Controlling Blood Loss During Surgery

Tranexamic Acid for the Reduction of Allogeneic Blood Exposure in Infants and Children Having Craniofacial Surgery

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Intravenous Use of Acetaminophen, 7-Day Study

Study of the Safety and Efficacy of Intravenous Acetaminophen in Pediatric Inpatients

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Malignant Hyperthermia Genetic Factors Study

Molecular Genetics of Malignant Hyperthermia Susceptibility

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Oxymorphone HCL for Postoperative Pain Management – Phase III

Evaluation of the Effectiveness, Safety, and Tolerability of Oral Liquid Oxymorphone HCl Immediate-Release Oral Liquid for Acute Postoperative Pain in Pediatric Subjects

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Pain Management following Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy

Bilateral Paravertebral Blockade (T7-10) vs. Incisional Local Anesthetic Administration for Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy: a Prospective, Randomized Clinical Study

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