Parthasarathy D. Thirumala, MD

Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery & Neurology
Co-Director, Center of Clinical Neurophysiology





Parthasarathy D. Thirumala, MD, joined the Center of Clinical Neurophysiology in June 2008. Dr. Thirumala specializes in intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring to adult and pediatric neurosurgical, orthopedic, ENT, vascular and interventional neuroradiology procedures.

Dr. Thirumala completed his neurology residency and clinical neurophysiology fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He completed his internship in internal medicine training at Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY. Prior to clinical training he completed his masters in biomedical engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Thirumala completed his medical training in India at Stanley Medical College in Chennai, India.

Prior to joining the department, Dr. Thirumala was in private practice providing intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring services. His group was one of the largest physician groups in the country providing intraoperative neurophysiological to approximately 90 hospitals across 12 states in the United States.

His clinical and research interests include intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring during expanded endonasal approach, functional cortical mapping during awake craniotomies, ICU EEG.

Dr. Thirumala has published over 30 peer reviewed articles, book chapters, and invited articles in the journals including JAMA Neurology, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Journal of Neurosurgery, and Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology. He has given lectures both nationally and internationally on the value of intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring.

Dr. Thirumala has been selected to the prestigious “Emerging Leadership Forum at the American Academy of Neurology 2015.” He has attended the 2013 Marshall Webster Physician Leadership Program at the University of Pittsburgh, and the 2013 Palatucci Advocacy Leadership program at the American Academy of Neurology. He currently serves as the president of the Pennsylvania Neurological Society.

Dr. Thirumala's publications can be reviewed through the National Library of Medicine's publication database.

Specialized Areas of Interest

Intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring; functional cortical mapping during awake craniotomies; neurophysiological monitoring during minimally invasive endonasal approach to skull base surgeries, electroencephalography in the intensive care unit and telemedicine.

Board Certifications

American Board of Clinical Neurophysiology: Intraoperative Monitoring
American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology: Subspecialty Clinical Neurophysiology
American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
American Board of Neuroimaging
American Board of Neurophysiologic Monitoring

Hospital Privileges

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
Jameson Hospital
Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC
Monongahela Valley Hospital
UPMC Braddock
UPMC Hamot
UPMC Horizon-Greenville
UPMC Mercy
UPMC Passavant
UPMC Presbyterian
UPMC St. Margaret
UPMC Shadyside

Professional Organization Membership

American Academy of Neurology
American Clinical Neurophysiology Society
American Medical Association
American Society of Neurophysiological Monitoring
American Society of Electroneurodiagnostic Technologists
American Telemedicine Association

Research Activities

Diagnostic Accuracy of Brainstem Auditory Evoked Potentials during microvascular decompression (MVD): The primary aim of the study was to assess the sensitivity and specificity of intraoperative monitoring in predicting post-operative hearing loss during MVD. The study was designed as a study of diagnostic accuracy of brain stem auditory evoked potentials compared to the reference standard the 1995 AAO-HNS HL classification system for non-serviceable hearing loss (Class C/D). All patients underwent surgery and audiograms at a UPMC facility in the study period 2005-2012. All participants received a pre- and post-audiogram within 90 days before or after the operation. During the operation participants received intraoperative monitoring with a supervising physician. A total of 238 patients were selected. BAEPs were indexed into categories of change based on their maximum change and response at the end of surgery. Differences in hearing outcome by BAEP change were analyzed. Age and gender did not affect outcomes. Patient outcome was affected by condition. The BAEP categories significant changes, transient loss and persistent loss show a sensitivity and specificity of (0.905,0.701), (0.667,0.903) and (0.429,0.972) respectively. The ROC curve has an AUC of 0.870 with a 95% CI of 0.783-0.957.

BAEPs show a high degree of specificity which indicates they are protective such that a patient without a change is highly unlikely to experience HL.