Guilherme Sant’Anna, MD, PhD, Neonatologist


Hospital information

Academic appointments 

Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, McGill University


Research interests 

My research interests are to better understand and optimize the respiratory assistance that some preterm infants require after birth, as well as the pathophysiology, management and outcomes of asphyxiated neonates. My respiratory research program is the EXPERT Project, Extremely Preterm Infants on Respiratory Therapy. This project investigates ways to optimize invasive and non-invasive respiratory therapy and therefore promote a continuous and timely transition toward no respiratory support. In collaboration with Biomedical Engineering and Computer Science at McGill University, we are working on the development of an automated system for prediction of extubation readiness in extremely preterm infants (the APEX study). 

We are also studying the mechanisms of action of non-invasive support therapies, and the impact of the development and implementation of respiratory care protocols. Other projects include two international collaborations: the prospective research of infants with mild hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (PRIME study) and the neurophysiological maturation of moderate and late preterm infants (NEMO project).  

Research foci 
  • Prediction of extubation readiness in extremely preterm infants; 
  • Peri-extubation practices; 
  • Non-invasive respiratory support; 
  • Protocols for neonatal respiratory support; 
  • Management of asphyxiated infants receiving therapeutic hypothermia; 
  • Outcomes of infants with mild hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.

Neonatal invasive and non-invasive ventilation, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, heart rate variability

Awards and distinctions 

Elected a member of the Society for Pediatric Research in 2012.

Selected publications 

Kaczmarek J, Chawla S, Marchica C, Dwaihy M, Grundy L, Sant’Anna GM. Heart rate variability and extubation readiness in extremely preterm infants. Neonatology 104(1):42-8, 2013. doi: 10.1159/000347101. Epub 2013 May 24.

Kaczmarek J, Kamlin COF, Morley CJ, Davis PG, and Sant’Anna GM. Variability of Respiratory Parameters and Extubation Readiness in Ventilated Neonates. Archives of Disease in Childhood, Fetal and Neonatal Edition 98(1):F70-3, 2013 Jan.

Precup D, Robles-Rubio CA, Brown KA, Kanbar L, Kaczmarek J, Chawla S, Sant'Anna GM, Kearney RE.  Prediction of extubation readiness in extreme preterm infants based on measures of cardiorespiratory variability. Conference Procedures IEEE Eng Medical Biology Society 2012:5630-3, 2012 Aug.

Sant’Anna GM, Laptook AR, Shankaran S, Bara R, McDonald SA, Higgins RD, Tyson JE, Ehrenkranz RA, Das A, Goldberg RN, Walsh MC for the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network. Phenobarbital and temperature profile during hypothermia for hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. J Child Neurol. 27(4):451-457, 2012 Apr.

Prempunpong C, Efanov I, Sant'Anna GM. The effect of the implementation of therapeutic hypothermia on fluid balance and incidence of hyponatremia in neonates with moderate or severe hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy. Acta Paediatr. 102(11):e507-13, 2013 Nov.