Dr. Kimmo Murto MD, FRCPC


Dr. Kimmo Murto MD, FRCPC
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

Room: Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), 401 Smyth Rd, Ottawa, ON, K1H 8L1

Work E-mail: Kmurto@cheo.on.ca

Dr. Kimmo Murto


Dr. Murto's research projects are related to the appropriate perioperative management of children undergoing adenotonsillectomy. This population experiences moderate-to- severe pain for as long as one week after surgery. The most common indication for surgery is suspected obstructive sleep apnea (OSA); less than 10% of children receive a definitive sleep lab based diagnosis due to limited availability. Underlying OSA results in an increased sensitivity to the sedating and respiratory depressant effects of opioids and may result in death or anoxic brain injury. OSA severity determines this risk. Opioid sparing analgesics are ideal for these patients; a definitive preoperative diagnosis of OSA severity would improve patient safety. Related research projects to address these issues include:

  1. Determine the proper dosing of celecoxib, a COX-2 specific inhibitor NSAID, in children, for the management of post adentonsillectomy (T&A) pain.
  2. Determine celecoxib blood and cerebrospinal fluid pharmacokinetics/dynamics and the impact of CYP2C9 (a liver P450 enzyme responsible for celecoxib elimination) related pharmacogenomics.
  3. Determine the influence of celecoxib on expression of P-glycoprotein (Pgp-a blood-brain barrier drug efflux transporter protein) and CNS concentrations of P-gp dependent drugs including morphine, fentanyl and ondansetron in an in vitro human blood brain barrier model.
  4. Use the ICES administrative data base to determine 30 day post adenotonsillectomy morbidity and mortality compared to other common pediatric surgeries in the Province of Ontario for the years 2001-2013.
  5. Determine the reliability and validity of the ASA OSA prediction tool in children.

Dr. Murto's experience as a pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist managing post cardiopulmonary bypass coagulopathies has fuelled his interest in transfusion medicine resulting in the development of a hospital-wide massive bleeding guideline with an on-going audit/improvement process as well guidelines for the transfusion of common blood products in pediatric patients. Finally, Dr. Murto's interest in health system care delivery quality improvement has led to research in the use of eConsult as a means to improve asynchronous primary care physician access to tertiary care specialists, reduce unnecessary consult requests and reduce related costs. 


Duration Appointment
November 2013 - present CHEO Medical Director of Strategy and Performance
May 2013 - present Chair Society for Anesthesia and Sleep Medicine (SASM) Pediatric Committee
June 2010 to May 2014 Chair Annual Gary Johnson Research Day
August 2008 to September 2012 Chair CHEO RI Science Committee (RISc)
March 2006 - present Director of Research Department of Anesthesia CHEO

Honours and awards

Year Honour/Award
Sept. 2013 CHEO "Gold Ribbon Award" for Leadership
May 2013 First prize Annual Research Day Competition. KMurto PI, presented by Colleen Mcfaul PGY 2: "Celecoxib for pediatric Adenotonsillectomy: A randomized controlled-double-blinded study." Ottawa.
May 2013 First prize Clinical Research Project, Annual Society for Anesthesia and Sleep Medicine (SASM) meeting KMurto PI: "Celecoxib for pediatric Adenotonsillectomy: A randomized controlled-double-blinded study."
June 2009 Best paper in ambulatory anesthesia Canadian Anesthesiologists' Society annual meeting. KMurto PI: "ASA assessment guidelines do not correlate with PSG in children"
October 2008 CHEO Research Institute Award of Excellence in the area of Anesthesia
June 2007 Best paper in ambulatory anesthesia Canadian Anesthesiologists' Society annual meeting. KMurto PI: "A survey: Technology in a pediatric day care setting"

Selected Publications

  1. Celecoxib pharmacogenetics and pediatric adenotonsillectomy: a blinded randomized controlled study. Murto K, Lamontagne C, McFaul C, MacCormick J, Ramakko KA, Aglipay M, Rosen D, Vaillancourt R. Can J Anaesth (in press).
  2. Understanding Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome in Children. Murto KCurr Anesthesiol Rep (in press).
  3. Safety-engineered intravenous catheter utilization among Canadian pediatric anesthesiologists. Murto K, Breton S, Ramakko KA, Aglipay M, Perverseff R, Bryson GL. Can J Anaesth. 2015 Feb 28. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 25724790
  4. Neck circumference percentile: A screening tool for pediatric obstructive sleep apnea. Katz S, Murto K, Barrowman N, Clarke J, Hoey L, Momoli F, Laberge R, Vaccani JP. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2015 Feb;50(2):196-201. PMID: 24574055
  5. Parents are reluctant to use technological means of communication in pediatric day care. Murto K, Bryson GL, Abushahwan I, King J, Moher D, El-Emam K, Splinter W. Can J Anaesth. 2008 Apr;55(4):214-22. PMID: 18378966

For a full list of Dr. Kimmo Murto's publications please go to PubMed.

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