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Weinberg Laboratory

Dr. Weinberg is the Department’s most distinguished clinician-scientist and he is internationally recognized for his pioneering work demonstrating the use of lipid emulsion for resuscitation from local anesthetic overdose.

Dr. Weinberg first reported in 1998 that a standard soy-based lipid emulsion, typically used for parenteral nutrition, rapidly reversed the cardiotoxic effects of local anesthetics in rats. He later confirmed this effect in a dog model of bupivacaine overdose and found that lipid emulsion accelerates clearance of bupivacaine from isolated rat hearts. The antidotal effect of lipid infusion has subsequently been confirmed in laboratory models and case reports of local anesthetic toxicity as well as overdoses of other lipophilic drugs including calcium channel blockers, beta blockers and tricyclic antidepressants.

Lipid resuscitation has been endorsed in practice advisories and guidelines of several professional societies including the American Heart Association Advanced Cardiac Life Support (Special Situation). Dr. Weinberg is continuing his efforts to elucidate the mechanism(s) of lipid resuscitation including studies on the metabolic and direct inotropic effects of lipid emulsions on cardiac function. In parallel studies he has demonstrated that epinephrine administration impairs lipid resuscitation, worsens cardiac mechanics and pulmonary function during acute resuscitation. His studies have raised concern regarding the risk-benefit relation of epinephrine therapy during cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Dr. Weinberg is also investigating mechanisms underlying epitheliod hemangio-endothelioma, a rare vascular neoplasm associated with with a well-defined somatic reciprocal, balanced translocation, t(1;3) and resulting fusion protein. He has proposed that EHE is associated with infection by Bartonella spp. is a genus of facultative intracellular parasites unique in their ability to cause endothelial proliferation. Dr. Weinberg is testing the theory that such infection causes the ‘second hit’ responsible for malignant transformation and tumor growth in EHE.

Dr. Weinberg’s research activities are centered at the Jesse Brown VA Hospital, a short walk from the University of Illinois Department of Anesthesiology. Dr. Weinberg is the recipient of a VA Merit Award. He works closely with Drs. Minshall, Feinstein and Dull.

Laboratory Members:  Rick Ripper (BS, Vet Tech)

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