René Tempelhoff, MD
René Tempelhoff, M.D., professor of anesthesiology and neurological surgery, has a national reputation as an outstanding clinician with particular expertise in the management of difficult airways, electrophysiologic monitoring and management of brain swelling and intracranial pressure.
Tempelhoff earned his medical degree from the University Claude Bernard in Lyon, France, in 1974. He was an assistant professor in neuroanesthesiology and neurointensive care at Hopital Neurologique in Lyon from 1979 to 1981, after which he took an internship and residency in anesthesiology at the University of Miami. In 1985, he joined the faculty in Washington University School of Medicine’s Departments of Anesthesiology and Neurological Surgery. He became a professor in 1997.
Tempelhoff has a superb relationship with his neurosurgical colleagues. He contributed to the development of awake craniotomies, complex seizure mapping, and intraoperative MRI — all procedures that require complex interactions between anesthesiologist and neurosurgeon. He is frequently asked to perform anesthesia for many non-neurosurgical procedures on Washington University physicians and prominent community members. Colleagues attest to his ability to deal with extremely challenging cases in the operating room, where he has been observed to almost miraculously reverse extremely unstable patients, paving the way with calm, quiet competence for excellent recoveries from life-threatening illnesses. An accomplished clinical academic who has published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles, Tempelhoff’s seminal contributions include his role in studying the interaction between seizures, anticonvulsants and anesthetic agents, establishing computerized electroencephalography as a reliable tool in the operating room, and identifying blindness as a significant complication of prone-position surgery.
He has written 11 book chapters and sits on the editorial boards of The Journal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology and The Journal of Clinical Anesthesia. Tempelhoff is a member of several American and French scientific organizations. He earned France’s Minister of Health award in 1974 and was named in the publication Best Doctors in 2003 and 2004.