Faculty Focus - Abhaya Kulkarni

Abhaya Kulkarni
Abhaya Kulkarni, MD, MSc, PhD, FRCSC

Dr. Kulkarni obtained his MD degree in 1994 and his Neurosurgery certification in 2002. Following this he completed fellowship training in pediatric neurosurgery at Hôpital-Necker Enfants Malades in Paris. He joined the Hospital for Sick Children in the Division of Neurosurgery and Population Health Sciences in 2003. His clinical interests span the spectrum of pediatric neurosurgery, including hydrocephalus, neuro-oncology, head injury and craniofacial surgery. He is also actively involved in stereotactic radiosurgery at the Toronto Gamma Knife Unit.  Since 2010, he has served as the Neurosurgery Residency Program Director at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Kulkarni's research interest is in the area of clinical epidemiology, specifically the study of long-term health outcomes in paediatric neurosurgical patients. He completed his PhD in 2003 in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McMaster University. His PhD thesis led to the development of the first health status outcome measure for use in paediatric hydrocephalus. He is a lead site investigator for the North American Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network and serves as an Associate Editor for Neuosurgery. He and his wife Shibani have two daughters, Nisha, age 5 years, and Leela, age 20 months.

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • Naftel RP, Reed GT, Kulkarni AV, Wellons JC. Evaluating the Children's Hospital of Alabama endoscopic third ventriculostomy experience using the Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy Success Score: an external validation study. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2011 Nov;8(5):494-501. 
  • Busse JW, Bhandari M, Guyatt GH, Heels-Ansdell D, Kulkarni AV, Mandel S, Sanders D, Schemitsch E, Swiontkowski M, Tornetta P 3rd, Wai E, Walter SD; The SPRINT Investigators & the Medically Unexplained Syndromes Study Group. Development and Validation of an Instrument to Predict Functional Recovery in Tibial Fracture Patients: The Somatic Pre-Occupation and Coping (SPOC) Questionnaire. J Orthop Trauma. 2011 Oct 18.
  • Kulkarni AV, Donnelly R, Shams I. Comparison of Hydrocephalus Outcome Questionnaire scores to neuropsychological test performance in school-aged children. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2011 Oct;8(4):396-401.
  • Kestle JR, Riva-Cambrin J, Wellons JC 3rd, Kulkarni AV, Whitehead WE, Walker ML, Oakes WJ, Drake JM, Luerssen TG, Simon TD, Holubkov R; Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network. A standardized protocol to reduce cerebrospinal fluid shunt infection: the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network Quality Improvement Initiative. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2011 Jul;8(1):22-9.
  • Hayhurst C, Monsalves E, Bernstein M, Gentili F, Heydarian M, Tsao M, Schwartz M, van Prooijen M, Millar BA, Ménard C, Kulkarni AV, Laperriere N, Zadeh G. Predicting Nonauditory Adverse Radiation Effects Following Radiosurgery for Vestibular Schwannoma: A Volume and Dosimetric Analysis. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2011 Apr 28.
  • Gupta S, Vachhrajani S, Kulkarni AV, Taylor MD, Dirks P, Drake JM, Rutka JT. Neurosurgical management of extraaxial central nervous system infections in children. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2011 May;7(5):441-51.
  • Yang SH, Kulkarni AV. Successful treatment of tremor by endoscopic third ventriculostomy in an adolescent with obstructive hydrocephalus due to tectal glioma: case report. Childs Nerv Syst. 2011 Jun;27(6):1007-10.
  • Kulkarni AV, Riva-Cambrin J, Browd SR. Use of the ETV Success Score to explain the variation in reported endoscopic third ventriculostomy success rates among published case series of childhood hydrocephalus. Childs Nerv Syst. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2011 Feb;7(2):143-6. Review.

Book Chapters

  • Vachrajani S, Drake JM, Kulkarni AV. "The Evidence for Surgical Treatment of Hydrocephalus in Children." In: Evidence in Neurosurgery (Smith E., ed), in press. 
  • Vachrajani S, Kulkarni AV, Rutka JT. "Clinical Trials are Authoritative." In: Controversies in Neurosurgery, 2nd Ed. (Al-Mefty O., ed.). Thieme, New York, in press. 

Recent Peer-Reviewed Funding

  • Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation, 2010-2012.
    The Pediatric TBI CT Scan Tool.
    PI: Guerguerian, A.M. Collaborators: Hutchison, J., Parshuram C., Kulkarni A.V., Laughlin S., Widjaja E., Willan A.R.
  • Sick Kids Research Institute, 2009.
    Quality of Life in Children with Hydrocephalus.
    PI: Kulkarni A.
  • R.R. Graham Scholarship, University of Toronto, 2007-2010.
    The Effect of Hospital Admissions on Children with Hydrocephalus.
    PI: Kulkarni A.

Current Appointments

  • Program Director, Neurosurgery Residency Training Program, University of Toronto
  • Scientist, Research Institute, Hospital for Sick Children
  • Director, Pediatric Gamma Knife Program, Hospital for Sick Children
  • Associate Professor in Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, School of Graduate Studies, University of Toronto
  • Associate Professor of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto