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3401 Civic Center Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19104
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Research Topics
C. Dean Kurth, MD
C. Dean Kurth

Dr. Kurth is a physician-scientist-leader in pediatric anesthesiology, quality and safety, and pediatric healthcare. He has experience conducting basic, clinical, and translational research studies as well as quality improvement projects to investigate clinical problems and develop technologies to understand the problem and devise therapies to prevent or treat it.



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Dr. Kurth's goal is to innovate and lead the specialty of pediatric anesthesoiology and the pediatric healthcare system as a whole. Throughout his career, Dr. Kurth has been at the forefront of cutting-edge research into pediatric anethesiology.

For example, he previously investigated respiratory control in neonates and this work characterized post-operative apnea that helped shape the standard of care for young infants undergoing surgery and anesthesia. He has also investigated the mechanisms of cerebrovascular regulation in immature animals and the regulatory mechanisms that predispose the fetus and neonate to hypoxic-ischemic injury.

Notably, Dr. Kurth worked with his colleagues to develop an anesthesia program to support Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s renowned fetal surgery program.

Dr. Kurth developed an interest in neurologic injury associated with congenital heart disease and conducted studies with near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to measure cerebral oxygenation. His current research studies extend upon this line of innovation and involve using functional NIRS to detect pain in children.

As CHOP's anesthesiologist-in-chief, Dr. Kurth also leads efforts to improve the quality, safety, and innovation of pediatric anesthesiology. In addition to his leadership role at Children's Hospital, he helped found "Wake Up Safe," a patient safety organization for pediatric anesthesiology, and the Pediatric Anesthesia Leadership Council.



Education and Training

BA, Colorado College (Chemistry), 1978

MD, University of Wisconsin Medical School, 1982

Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania (Physiology), 1998

Fellowship, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (Pediatric Anesthesiology), 1989

CBA, University of Houston School of Business (Business), 2002

Titles and Academic Titles


Chair, Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine

John J. Downes, M.D. Endowed Chair in Pediatric Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine

Professor of Pediatrics

Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care

Professional Memberships

American Academy of Pediatrics, 1983-

American Society of Anesthesiologists, 1986-

International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, 1989-

American Medical Association, 1991-

International Anesthesia Research Society, 1994-

Association of University Anesthesiologists, 1998-

Cincinnati Society of Anesthesiologists, 2002-

Ohio Society of Anesthesiologists, 2002-

Society of Pediatric Anesthesia, 2008-

Chinese American Medical Pediatric Society, 2012-

Congenital Cardiac Anesthesia Society, 2017-

Society for Pediatric Pain Medicine, 2017-

Publication Highlights

Yuan I, Olbrecht VA, Mensinger JL, Zhang B, Davidson AJ, von Ungern-Sternberg BS, Skowno J, Lian Q, Song X, Zhao P, Zhang J, Zhang M, Zuo Y, de Graaff JC, Vutskits L, Szmuk P, Kurth CD. Statistical Analysis Plan (SAP) for "An international multicenter study of isoelectric electroencephalography (EEG) events in infants and young children during anesthesia for surgery". Paediatr Anaesth. 2019 Jan; PMID: 30664323
Yuan I, Topjian AA, Kurth CD, Kirschen MP, Ward CG, Zhang B, Mensinger JL. Guide to the statistical analysis plan. Paediatr Anaesth. 2019 Jan; PMID: 30609103
Olbrecht VA, Jiang Y, Viola L, Walter CM, Liu H, Kurth CD. Characterization of the functional near-infrared spectroscopy response to nociception in a pediatric population. Paediatr Anaesth. 2018 Feb; 28(2):103-111. PMID: 29280254
Tewari A, Francis L, Samy RN, Kurth CD, Castler J, Frye T, Mahmoud M. Intraoperative Neurophysiological Monitoring Team's Commumique with Anesthesia Professionals. J Anaesthesiol Clin Pharmacol. 2018 Jan; 34(1):84-93. PMID: 29643629
Olbrecht VA, Skowno J, Marchesini V, Ding L, Jiang Y, Ward CG, Yu G, Liu H, Schurink B, Vutskits L, de Graaff JC, McGowan FX Jr, von Ungern-Sternberg BS, Kurth CD, Davidson A. An International, Multicenter, Observational Study of Cerebral Oxygenation during Infant and Neonatal Anesthesia. Anesthesiology. 2018 Jan; 128(1):85-96. PMID: 29019815