Sher-Lu Pai, M.D., focuses her research interests on the intraoperative management of patients undergoing major abdominal organ transplantation. Her studies aim to design intraoperative anesthesia managements that will improve outcomes for patients presenting with specific risk factors or disease processes, such as intracardiac thrombosis, vasoplegic syndrome, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and other complex conditions.
Dr. Pai also possesses a keen interest in finding ways to improve perioperative outcomes and safety for all surgical patients by exploring and developing new processes for preoperative evaluation and medical optimization in the Preoperative Evaluation (POE) Clinic.
- Intracardiac thrombosis (ICT) during liver transplantation. Dr. Pai is working to identify predisposing risk factors for ICT in liver transplant patients that warrant intraoperative echocardiography for close surveillance and early treatment. She is also investigating the safety of using transesophageal echocardiography and patient outcomes after different treatments of ICT.
- Vasoplegic syndrome during liver transplantation. Dr. Pai is working to evaluate fluid management and the utilization of traditional vasopressors during liver transplantation. She is also evaluating new medications for treating refractory hypotension during liver transplantation.
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in liver transplant patients. This study aims to identify the specific risk factors associated with increased mortality in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy undergoing liver transplantation. This research project may improve patient outcomes by guiding the patient selection process and improving the perioperative management of these complicated patients.
- Preoperative Evaluation (POE) Clinic redesign. Dr. Pai continues to redesign protocols for the POE Clinic, expanding the traditional "clearance" for surgery into an integrated, multidisciplinary health care delivery system to ensure preoperative optimization of the surgical patient. There are numerous new processes that allow for better diagnoses and proper treatment of conditions such as diabetes, cognitive dysfunction, urinary tract infection and many other common diseases.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Pai's research projects may improve the perioperative management of patients who are at risk of developing intracardiac thrombosis, cardiopulmonary collapse due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and vasoplegic syndrome during liver transplantation. Improved identification of the risk factors associated with these complex intraoperative complications, as well as proper preoperative optimization, will improve patient outcomes and satisfaction and will reduce health care costs.
- Chair, Scientific Affairs Committee, Society for the Advancement of Transplant Anesthesia, 2018-present
- Chair and Editor-in-Chief, Communications Committee and LINK publication, Society for Ambulatory Anesthesia, 2018-present