• Singhal, Ashutosh


    Investigator, BC Children's Hospital
    Clinical Assistant Professor, Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Department of Surgery, University of British Columbia

    Degrees / Designations
    MD, MSc, FRCS(C)
    Primary Area of Research
    Brain, Behaviour & Development
    Secondary Area(s) of Research
    Lab Phone
    Mailing Address
    BC Children's Hospital

    4480 Oak Street, Room K3-218
    Vancouver, BC V6H 3V4

    Affiliate Websites
    Research Areas
    • Cranio-Encephalic Trauma
    • Trauma/Nervous System
    • Biostatistics
    • Vasospasm
    • Neurosurgery
    • Clinical Trials & Design 

    Dr. Singhal is involved and interested in a multitude of pediatric neurosurgery topics, however his main interests are head injuries and their causes, consequences and interactions with the environment. His research employs leading-edge imaging technologies as well as the study of potentially underlying environmental and genomic factors that may contribute to disease progression and outcome. Another major research focus is the monitoring and study of post-operative status, management and outcome of neurosurgery patients.

    Current Projects

    Analysis of Pediatric Injuries Related to Child Restraint Seats: Are Children at Higher Risk for Injury Outside the Vehicle Than Inside?
    With the increasing popularity of hand-held child restraint seats (CRS), BC Children's Hospital clinicians have noticed an increase in injuries related to the improper use of CRS when used outside of the vehicle. These injuries include falls out of the CRS or falls of both the CRS and child. This potential public heath problem has not previously been studied.

    We propose to study the problem on a national basis via coordinated data collection/retrieval in the pediatric trauma centers across the country. By examining pediatric trauma in cases in which a CRS was involved, we might identify what the national incidence and contributing factors of such injuries are. Furthermore, we also hope to determine the anatomical pattern of injury associated with CRS injuries, particularly when associated with improper use of the seat outside the vehicle.

    BC Inflicted Childhood Neurotrauma Surveillance Project
    The BC Inflicted Childhood Neurotrauma Surveillance Project is a part of Phase II of Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome and Infant Abuse: The Period of PURPLE Crying Program. It is an active surveillance project that documents traumatic head injury in children less than two years of age. 

    The Program will be evaluated for its effectiveness in attaining the three primary goals of the intervention:

    1. Attaining a “penetration” rate of 90-95 per cent of mothers of newborn infants 
    2. Reducing the incidence of shaken baby syndrome and/or infant abuse by 50 per cent
    3. Achieving a cultural change in the understanding of early infant crying and its relationship to shaken baby syndrome

    The surveillance system will also address the crucial need in B.C, for current knowledge of ICN incidence, as well as the challenges of measuring and implications for assessing prevention interventions. The first of its kind in Canada, this system will allow the establishment of a baseline incidence of ICN in B.C. Other objectives include determining the proportion of ICN versus non-inflicted neurotrauma and comparing the key characteristics of children with ICN to those with non-inflicted neurotrauma, and to the population at risk in the age group of 0-2 years old.

    Apolipoprotein E and Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury: A Prospective Observational Study
    Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a particularly significant public health issue in children and adolescents, who account for over 50 per cent of new cases of head injury yearly. The causes for this are multi-factorial, but recent studies in adult TBI suggest that a genetic marker, the APOE gene, may play a role in influencing outcomes. We aim to determine if there is a relationship between subtypes of a gene encoding a lipoprotein, Apolipoprotein E, and outcome after pediatric TBI. Our hypothesis is that a genetic allelic subtype, APOE4, is associated with worse outcomes.  Children with apparently similar demographic characteristics, mechanism of injury, and apparently similar clinical and radiographic injury patterns have notably different clinical outcomes.

    Selected Publications

    Early Hypodensity on Computed Tomography in Accidental Pediatric Head Injury.  Steinbok P, Singhal A, Poskitt K, Cochrane DD.  Neurosurgery.  2007.  60(4):689-94.  

    CSF Leak and Pseudomeningocele Formation after Posterior Fossa Tumour Resection in Children: A Retrospective Analysis.  Steinbok P, Singhal A, Mills J, Cochrane DD.  Childs Nerv Sys. 2007.  23(2):171-4; discussion 175.

    Analysis of paediatric injuries related to child restraint seats: Are children at higher risk of injury outside the vehicle than inside?  Desapriya E, Pike I, Singhal A.  Int J Inj Contr Saf Promot. 2007.  14(3):196-8.

    Ascites and abdominal pseudocyst following ventriculo-peritoneal shunt surgery - variations of the same theme?  Kariyattil R, Steinbok P, Singhal A, Cochrane DD.  J Neurosurg. 2007.  106(5 Suppl):350-3.

    Long-term outcome of infants with positional occipital plagiocephaly.  Steinbok P, Lam, D, Singh S, Mortenson, P, Singhal A.  Childs Nerv Syst. 2007.  Jun 6.

    Agrawal D, Singhal A, Hendson G, Durity F.  Gyriform differentiation in medulloblastoma - a radiological predictor of histology.  Pediatr Neurosurg.  2007.  43(2):142-5.

    Complete Upward Migration of the Peritoneal End of A Ventriculo-peritoneal Shunt into the Subgaleal Space.  Gan P, Singhal A.  Pediatric Neurosurgery 2006.  42(6):404-405.

    Caufield J, Singhal A, Moulton RJ, Brenneman F, Redelmeier D, Baker AJ.  Trauma Recidivism in a Large Canadian Urban Population.  J Trauma.  2004.  57(4):872-876.

    Singhal A, Bray P, Bernstein M.  Scalp Ulceration from a Circumferential Head Dressing after Craniotomy: Case Report of an Uncommon Complication due to Human Error.  Can J Plastic Surg.  2004.  12(3): 210-212.

    Honours & Awards

    Critical Care Research Award – Canadian Congress of Neurological Sciences, 2003

    Ontario Graduate Scholarship in Science and Techn. Research Award – University of Toronto, 2001

    Clinical Research Award – Physicians Services Incorporated, 2000

    Gold Medal, Neurosciences – University of Alberta, 1997

    Induction – Alpha Omega Honour Society (Medicine), 1996

    Student Research Award – University of Alberta Medical School, 1995

    Research Summer Studentship Award – Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, 1993

    Science Scholarship & Gold Medal for Calculus – Queen’s University, 1992

    Trillium Entrance Scholarship & Viscount Bennett Scholarship – Queen’s University, 1991

    Research Group Members
    • Elysia Adams – Research Assistant 
    • Vesna Popovska – Research Coordinator