Dr. Tom Spentzas

Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine

Dr. Spentzas graduated from the School of Medicine in Athens, Greece. He completed his residency in Pediatrics and fellowship in Pediatric Critical Care at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in NYC.  Subsequently, he served as an attending at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center - Babies and Children's Hospital of New York.   Dr. Spentzas has served as Medical Director of PICU services at St Mary’s Hospital in Evansville IN, Swedish American Hospital in Rockford IL, and LBCH in Memphis TN. He is board certified in both Pediatrics and Pediatric Critical Care and received his Master of Epidemiology at the University of Tennessee. He is appointed as Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Tennessee.  In parallel with his medical duties, he serves as a consultant in statistics and epidemiology and teaches graduate level statistics courses.


Dr. Spentzas has published many studies Critical Care, and Bench research.  He introduced the High Flow Nasal Cannula (HFNC) to the Pediatric Critical Care practice in 2009. HFNC (a non-invasive form of ventilation) is the most frequently employed respiratory support in moderate respiratory distress. Dr. Spentzas is considered a leading expert in the field of noninvasive intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring. He researched noninvasive ICP monitoring proxy methods, either via sonic optic nerve diameter estimation or measurement of intraocular pressure. His research in the Sepsis field includes immunocytokine manipulation via anesthetic selection and modification of septic cascade via ketamine and mTOR inhibitors. He has research work in community vs. hospital-acquired MRSA antigenic profile modulin expression.  Dr. Spentzas is the local principal investigator for the ICULiberation collaborative.

Overall, Dr. Spentzas has 25 years of experience in clinical and academic Pediatric Critical Care.

Selected Publications

  1. Spentzas T, Minarik M, Patters AB, Vinson B, Stidham G. Children with respiratory distress treated with high-flow nasal cannula J Intensive Care Med. 2009, 24(5):323-8. PMID: 19703816.
  2. Le A, Hoehn ME, Smith ME, Spentzas T, Schlappy D, Pershad J. Correlation of intraocular pressure with intracranial pressure in children with severe head injury. Ann Emerg Med 2009; 53(6):785-91. PMID: 19167786.
  3. Spentzas T, Henricksen J, Patters AB, Chaum E. Correlation of intraocular pressure with intracranial pressure in children with severe head injury Pediatr Crit Care Med 2010; 11(5):593-8. PMID: 20081553.
  4. Spentzas T, Shapley RK, Aguirre CA, Meals E, Lazar L, Rayburn MS, Walker BS, English BK. Ketamine inhibits tumor necrosis factor secretion by RAW264.7 murine macrophages stimulated with antibiotic-exposed strains of community.associated, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. BMC Immunol 2011; 12:11. PMID: 21266054.
  5. Spentzas T. Intracranial Pressure: Is It a Threshold or a Measure? Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2016 Oct;17(10):1020 PMID: 27706000

Dr. Tom Spentzas

Email: tspentza@uthsc.edu

Contact Us

Department of Pediatrics

Critical Care Division

Le Bonheur Children's Hospital
Children's Foundation
Research Center
50 N Dunlap, 3rd Floor
Memphis, TN 38103
Phone: 901-287-6303