J. Matthias Walz, MD; FCCP

Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Surgery
Chief, Vascular Anesthesia

walz_2Following graduation from medical school in Germany and one year of residency training in Anesthesia and Critical Care Medicine there, I had the opportunity to come to UMMHC for a surgical internship. I subsequently completed an anesthesia residency and a critical care fellowship at UMMHC, which included rotations at St Vincent Hospital Worcester and Brigham and Women';s Hospital in Boston.

My clinical focus in the operating room is Vascular, Thoracic and Transplant Anesthesia.  I enjoy teaching advanced airway management techniques for lung isolation, the management of the difficult airway and cardiopulmonary physiology with an emphasis on targeted hemodynamic management for the high-risk vascular surgery patient.  The ICU is also a fascinating working environment and where I am confronted with a diverse patient population and complex medical problems on a daily basis.

My research interests are currently focused on the validation of a novel non-invasive monitor based on near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) that can provide accurate information about microvascular blood flow and tissue oxygenation. The monitor was developed by Dr. Babs Soller in our department and may prove to be an excellent tool to monitor the impairment of microvascular blood flow found in many disease states, such as severe sepsis and septic shock. Furthermore, this monitor is a very sensitive indicator of hypovolemia in humans and we are in the process of designing clinical trials to determine whether data provided by this technology can provide accurate endpoints of resuscitation. Other areas of interest include clinical outcomes research utilizing large administrative databases in collaboration with Dr. Stavros Memtsoudis from the Department of Anesthesiology at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. In addition, we are also involved in the study of anti-infective central venous catheters to reduce the rate of catheter related bloodstream infections in the ICU.

In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my wife and three daughters, as well as mountain biking, tennis and skiing.

Selected Publications

Walz JM, Paterson CA, Seligowski JM, Heard SO.  Factors associated with postoperative surgical site infection following bowel surgery: a retrospective analysis of 1446 patients. Arch Surg 2006; 141:1014-1018. 
Dershwitz M, Walz JM, eds. McGraw-Hill Specialty Board Review: Anesthesiology.  New York: McGraw-Hill, 2006.

Soller BR, Hagan RD, Shear M, Walz JM, Landry M, Anuncion D, Orquiola A, Heard SO. Comparison of intramuscular and venous blood pH, PCO2 and PO2 during rhythmic handgrip exercise. Physiol Meas 2007; 28:1-11.
Walz JM, Zayaruzny M, Heard SO.  Airway management in critical illness.   Chest 2007; 131:616-628.

Babs R Soller, Ye Yang, Olusola O Soyemi, Kathy L Ryan, Caroline A Rickards, J Matthias Walz, Stephen O Heard, Victor A. Convertino. Noninvasively determined muscle oxygen saturation is an early indicator of central hypovolemia in humans. J Appl Physiol 2008; 104:475-481.

J Matthias Walz, Stavros G Memtsoudis, Stephen O Heard. Analytic Reviews: Prevention of Central venous catheter bloodstream infections. J Intensive Care Med. 2010; 25(3):131-8.

J. Matthias Walz, Rui L Avelar, Kent L Carter, Karen J Longtine, Leonard A Mermel, Stephen O Heard for the 5-FU Catheter Study Group. Anti-infective coating of central venous catheters: A randomized, non-inferiority trial comparing 5-fluorouracil to chlorhexidine/silver sulfadiazine in preventing catheter colonization. Critical Care Medicine, 2010;  38(11):2095-102.

Theofilus Matheos, J Matthias Walz, Karen Longtine, Mellissa O';Neill, Jaclyn Longtine, Karen Johnson, Stephen O Heard. A Comparison of the Duration of Antimicrobial Activity of Two Different Antimicrobial Central Venous Catheters. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2010 Mar;31(3):295-7.

Memtsoudis SG, Ma Y, Chiu YL, Walz JM, Voswinckel R, Mazumdar M. Perioperative mortality in patients with pulmonary hypertension undergoing major joint replacement. Anesthesia & Analgesia, 2010; 111(5): 1110-6.

Memtsoudis SG, Liu SS, Ma Y, Chiu YL, Walz JM, Gaber-Baylis LK, Mazumdar M. Perioperative pulmonary outcomes in patients with sleep apnea after non-cardiac surgery. Anesthesia & Analgesia, 2011; 112(1):113-21.

Lilly CM, Cody S, Zhao H, et al. Hospital mortality, length of stay, and preventable complications among critically ill patients before and after tele-ICU reengineering of critical care processes. JAMA, 2011 1;305(21):2157-83.

Memtsoudis SG, Bombardieri AM, Ma Y, Walz JM, Chiu YL, Mazumdar M. Mortality of patients with respiratory insufficiency and adult respiratory distress syndrome after surgery: The obesity paradox. Journal of Intensive Care Medicine 2011, published online July 21st, 2011

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