Hemali Panchal, MD is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Stanford School of Medicine. She completed her M.D. degree at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. She completed her internal medicine residency training at the University of California, Davis. Prior to her medical training, she received her B.S. degree in neuroscience from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her professional interests include improving the learning climate for trainees at all levels, wellness with a specific emphasis on peer support, and health equity. Her personal interests include hiking, meditation, and reading.
Clinical Assistant Professor, Medicine
Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations
Member, Society of Hospital Medicine (2023 - Present)
Board Certification, American Board of Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine (2023)
Residency, University of California, Davis, Internal Medicine (2023)
MD, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Medical Degree (2020)
BS, University of California, Los Angeles, Neuroscience (2015)
Current Research and Scholarly Interests
Quality Improvement, Patient Safety, Medical Education
Hospitalized cancer patients with comorbidities and low lymphocyte counts had poor clinical outcomes to immune checkpoint inhibitors.
Frontiers in oncology
2022; 12: 980181
Immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) therapy has improved survivals with a favorable toxicity profile in a variety of cancer patients. We hypothesized that hospitalized cancer patients who have acute or chronic comorbidities may have suppressed immune systems and poor clinical outcomes to ICIs. The objective of this study was to explore clinical outcomes and predictive factors of hospitalized cancer patients who received ICI therapy at an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.A retrospective review of electronic medical records was conducted for adult cancer patients who received an FDA-approved ICI during admission from 08/2016 to 01/2022. For each patient we extracted demographics, cancer histology, comorbidities, reasons for hospitalization, ICI administered, time from treatment to discharge, time from treatment to progression or death, and complete blood counts. Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method and compared using the log-rank test. The 95% confidence interval for survival was calculated using the exact binomial distribution. Statistical significance was defined as 2-sided p<0.05.Of 37 patients identified, 2 were excluded due to lack of complete blood counts on admission. Average hospital stay was 24.2 (95% CI 16.5, 31.9) days. Ten (27.0%) patients died during the same hospitalization as treatment. Of those who followed up, 22 (59.5%) died within 90 days of inpatient therapy. The median PFS was 0.86 (95% CI 0.43, 1.74) months and median OS was 1.55 (95% CI 0.76, 3.72) months. Patients with ≥3 comorbidities had poorer PFS (2.4 vs. 0.4 months; p=0.0029) and OS (5.5 vs. 0.6 months; p=0.0006). Pre-treatment absolute lymphocyte counts (ALC) <600 cells/µL were associated with poor PFS (0.33 vs. 1.35 months; p=0.0053) and poor OS (0.33 vs. 2.34 months; p=0.0236). Pre-treatment derived neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (dNLR) <4 was associated with good median PFS (1.6 vs. 0.4 months; p=0.0157) and OS (2.8 vs. 0.9 months; p=0.0375).Administration of ICI therapy was associated with poor clinical outcomes and high rates of both inpatient mortality and 90-day mortality after inpatient ICI therapy. The presence of ≥3 comorbidities, ALC <600/μL, or dNLR >4 in hospitalized patients was associated with poor survival outcomes.
View details for DOI 10.3389/fonc.2022.980181
View details for PubMedID 36185315
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC9515784
Association of Type 2 Diabetes Risk Perception With Interest in Diabetes Prevention Strategies Among Women With a History of Gestational Diabetes.
Diabetes spectrum : a publication of the American Diabetes Association
2022; 35 (3): 335-343
The aims of this study were to identify predictors of perception of type 2 diabetes risk in women with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and to determine factors associated with interest in evidence-based strategies for type 2 diabetes prevention.We surveyed women with a history of GDM who had not progressed to type 2 diabetes from a large academic medical center. We used multivariate logistic regression to assess predictors of high levels of perception of type 2 diabetes risk. We also tested associations between risk perception and interest in a lifestyle change program and/or metformin therapy.In our diverse sample of 264 women, 28% were unaware that GDM is a risk factor for incident type 2 diabetes after pregnancy, and 48% believed their personal risk of type 2 diabetes was low. In multivariate analyses, family history of diabetes (odds ratio [OR] 2.2, 95% CI 1.2-4.4) and knowledge of GDM as a risk factor for incident type 2 diabetes (OR 4.5, 95% CI 2.1-9.8) were significant predictors of greater perception of type 2 diabetes risk. Women with higher risk perception were more likely to express interest in a lifestyle change program compared with women with lower risk perception (OR 2.4, 95% CI 1.3-4.5).Although some women are aware that GDM is a risk factor for incident type 2 diabetes, many still perceive their own risk of developing type 2 diabetes as low. Higher risk perception predicted interest in an evidence-based diabetes prevention program, highlighting the importance of personalized risk assessment and communication about risk for women who have had GDM.
View details for DOI 10.2337/ds21-0056
View details for PubMedID 36072816
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC9396721
Educational Attainment, Decision-Making Preferences, and Interest in Evidence-Based Diabetes Prevention among Women with a History of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus.
Women's health reports (New Rochelle, N.Y.)
2021; 2 (1): 106-112
Background: The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) showed that lifestyle change or metformin is equally efficacious in preventing diabetes in women who have had gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Few studies have investigated the relationship between education and willingness to engage in either intervention and between education and preferred decision-making style. Methods: Within a large health system, we surveyed insured women 18-64 years old with a history of GDM, identified through the electronic health record. We estimated preference for decision-making style and interest in DPP lifestyle change and/or metformin by educational level, using multivariate logistic regression models controlling for age, race, and ethnicity. Results: Our sample (n = 264) was 36% Latino, 29% Asian, 28% non-Latino white, and 5% African American, with a mean age of 37 years. In terms of education, 31% had a postgraduate degree, 41% were college graduates, and 29% did not graduate from college. In multivariate analyses, willingness to engage in either intervention did not vary by education. Women who did not graduate from college were more likely to leave medical decisions to their provider (p = 0.004) compared to women with a college or postgraduate degree. However, regardless of education, over 80% of women preferred to make medical decisions themselves or jointly with their provider. Conclusions: Most women prefer to play an active role in their own medical decisions and have an interest in both evidence-based diabetes prevention strategies. This suggests that shared decision-making is appropriate for many women with a history of GDM and different levels of educational attainment.
View details for DOI 10.1089/whr.2020.0116
View details for PubMedID 33937908
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8082012
The outcome of in-situ fixation of unstable slipped capital femoral epiphysis.
Journal of pediatric orthopedics. Part B
2019; 28 (5): 452-457
There is limited information regarding the outcome of in-situ fixation of unstable slipped capital femoral epiphysis (U-SCFE). We aimed to report the outcome of a cohort of patients with U-SCFE that were treated with in-situ fixation, by comparing it to the outcome of patients with stable slipped capital femoral epiphysis (S-SCFE). After Institutional Review Board approval, a retrospective analysis of patients with SCFE that were treated with in-situ fixation at a single institution between 2005 and 2016 was performed. Preoperative and postoperative clinical and radiographic data was collected. The rate of complications, including avascular necrosis (AVN), and the presence of impingement were recorded. The outcome of U-SCFEs was compared to that of S-SCFEs. A total of 184 SCFEs in 154 patients (64% male; mean age 11.9 years) with a mean follow-up of 27 months were included. The SCFE was classified as stable in 90.2% of cases, and unstable in 9.8% of. The mean duration of symptoms prior to presentation was 3.2 months. The mean Southwick slip angle at the time of presentation was 33°. A single screw was used to fix all S-SCFEs, while U-SCFEs were treated with either one (66.7%) or two (33.3%) screws. For U-SCFEs, the joint was decompressed at the time of surgery by either needle aspiration or small capsular incision. The final range of motion of the affected hip was comparable in both groups. The overall rate of impingement was 29%. The rate of impingement in S-SCFE and U-SCFE was 27.6 and 44.4%, respectively (P = 0.1). Eight patients required a subsequent surgery (4.4%), all of whom originally have had a S-SCFE. Radiographic signs of AVN of the femoral head were seen in 2.2% of cases. The incidence of AVN of the femoral head in S-SCFEs and U-SCFEs was 1.2 and 11.1%, respectively (P = 0.04). The results of this study support previous findings that the risk of AVN is significantly higher in U-SCFE as compared to S-SCFEs.
View details for DOI 10.1097/BPB.0000000000000596
View details for PubMedID 30702638
Is the "Appropriate Use Criteria" for Type II Supracondylar Humerus Fractures Really Appropriate?
Journal of pediatric orthopedics
2019; 39 (1): 1-7
The Appropriate Use Criteria for the treatment of supracondylar humerus fractures (SCHFs), developed by American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, recommends pinning for all type II SCHFs. However, previous studies have suggested that, with close follow-up some of the less severe type II SCHF's can be successfully treated without surgery. Our purpose was to analyze data collected prospectively on a large cohort of type II SCHF's.We reviewed clinical and radiographic information on all type II pediatric SCHF (n=1120) that were enrolled in a prospective registry and were followed for a minimum of 8 weeks. The characteristics of the patients who were treated without surgery were compared with those of patients who were ultimately treated surgically. Treatment outcomes, as assessed by the final clinical and radiographic alignment, range of motion of the elbow, and complications were compared between the groups to define clinical and radiographic features that related to success or failure of nonoperative management.Ultimately, 812 fractures (72%) were treated nonoperatively, and 309 fractures (28%) were treated surgically. At final follow-up, outcome measures of change in carrying angle, range of motion, and complications did not show clinically significant differences between treatment groups. Binary logistic regression analysis indicated that initial radiographic features, specifically rotational deformity, varus malalignment, valgus malalignment, and a shaft-condylar angle of <30 degrees were strongly related to selection for surgery. Patients with isolated extension deformity, but none of the other features, were more likely to complete successful nonoperative management.Pinning all type II SCHF, as recommended by the Appropriate Use Criteria, would have resulted in unnecessary surgery in 72% of patients in this series. Given the wide range of injury severity within the type II category of SCHF, better discrimination of factors commonly associated with successful nonoperative treatment is required. In this particular series, fractures with an isolated extension deformity (without rotational or coronal malalignment) were more likely to complete successful nonoperative management.
View details for DOI 10.1097/BPO.0000000000001142
View details for PubMedID 29369894
Neuro-Metabolite Changes in a Single Season of University Ice Hockey Using Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy.
Frontiers in neurology
2018; 9: 616
Background: Previous research has shown evidence for transient neuronal loss after repetitive head impacts (RHI) as demonstrated by a decrease in N-acetylaspartate (NAA). However, few studies have investigated other neuro-metabolites that may be altered in the presence of RHI; furthermore, the relationship of neuro-metabolite changes to neurocognitive outcome and potential sex differences remain largely unknown. Objective: The aim of this study was to identify alterations in brain metabolites and their potential association with neurocognitive performance over time as well as to characterize sex-specific differences in response to RHI. Methods: 33 collegiate ice hockey players (17 males and 16 females) underwent 3T magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and neurocognitive evaluation before and after the Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS) ice hockey season 2011-2012. The MRS voxel was placed in the corpus callosum. Pre- and postseason neurocognitive performances were assessed using the Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Test (ImPACT). Absolute neuro-metabolite concentrations were then compared between pre- and postseason MRS were (level of statistical significance after correction for multiple comparisons: p < 0.007) and correlated to ImPACT scores for both sexes. Results: A significant decrease in NAA was observed from preseason to postseason (p = 0.001). Furthermore, a trend toward a decrease in total choline (Cho) was observed (p = 0.044). Although no overall effect was observed for glutamate (Glu) over the season, a difference was observed with females showing a decrease in Glu and males showing an increase in Glu, though this was not statistically significant (p = 0.039). In both males and females, a negative correlation was observed between changes in Glu and changes in verbal memory (p = 0.008). Conclusion: The results of this study demonstrate changes in absolute concentrations of neuro-metabolites following exposure to RHI. Results suggest that changes in Glu are correlated with changes in verbal memory. Future studies need to investigate further the association between brain metabolites and clinical outcome as well as sex-specific differences in the brain's response to RHI.
View details for DOI 10.3389/fneur.2018.00616
View details for PubMedID 30177905
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6109794
Neuropsychological and Neuroanatomical Correlates of the Social Norms Questionnaire in Frontotemporal Dementia Versus Alzheimer's Disease.
American journal of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias
2016; 31 (4): 326-32
Traditional neuropsychological batteries may not distinguish early behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) from Alzheimer's disease (AD) without the inclusion of a social behavioral measure. We compared 33 participants, 15 bvFTD, and 18 matched patients with early-onset AD (eAD), on the Social Norms Questionnaire (SNQ), neuropsychological tests and 3-dimensional T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The analyses included correlations of SNQ results (total score, overendorsement or "overadhere" errors, and violations or "break" errors) with neuropsychological results and tensor-based morphometry regions of interest. Patients with BvFTD had significantly lower SNQ total scores and higher overadhere errors than patients with eAD. On neuropsychological measures, the SNQ total scores correlated significantly with semantic knowledge and the overadhere subscores with executive dysfunction. On MRI analysis, the break subscores significantly correlated with lower volume of lateral anterior temporal lobes (aTL). The results also suggest that endorsement of social norm violations corresponds to the role of the right aTL in social semantic knowledge.
View details for DOI 10.1177/1533317515617722
View details for PubMedID 26646114
Use of the MoCA in Detecting Early Alzheimer's Disease in a Spanish-Speaking Population with Varied Levels of Education.
Dementia and geriatric cognitive disorders extra
2015; 5 (1): 85-95
Performance on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) has been demonstrated to be dependent on the educational level. The purpose of this study was to identify how to best adjust MoCA scores and to identify MoCA items most sensitive to cognitive decline in incipient Alzheimer's disease (AD) in a Spanish-speaking population with varied levels of education.We analyzed data from 50 Spanish-speaking participants. We examined the pattern of diagnosis-adjusted MoCA residuals in relation to education and compared four alternative score adjustments using bootstrap sampling. Sensitivity and specificity analyses were performed for the raw and each adjusted score. The interval reliability of the MoCA as well as item discrimination and item validity were examined.We found that with progressive compensation added for those with lower education, unexplained residuals decreased and education-residual association moved to zero, suggesting that more compensation was necessary to better adjust MoCA scores in those with a lower educational level. Cube copying, sentence repetition, delayed recall, and orientation were most sensitive to cognitive impairment due to AD.A compensation of 3-4 points was needed for <6 years of education. Overall, the Spanish version of the MoCA maintained adequate psychometric properties in this population.
View details for DOI 10.1159/000365506
View details for PubMedID 25873930
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4376923
A scale of socioemotional dysfunction in frontotemporal dementia.
Archives of clinical neuropsychology : the official journal of the National Academy of Neuropsychologists
2014; 29 (8): 793-805
Early social dysfunction is a hallmark symptom of behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD); however, validated measures for assessing social deficits in dementia are needed. The purpose of the current study was to examine the utility of a novel informant-based measure of social impairment, the Socioemotional Dysfunction Scale (SDS) in early-onset dementia. Sixteen bvFTD and 18 early-onset Alzheimer's disease (EOAD) participants received standard clinical neuropsychological measures and neuroimaging. Caregiver informants were administered the SDS. Individuals with bvFTD exhibited greater social dysfunction on the SDS compared with the EOAD group; t(32) = 6.32, p < .001. The scale demonstrated preliminary evidence for discriminating these frequently misdiagnosed groups (area under the curve = 0.920, p = <.001) and internal consistency α = 0.977. The SDS demonstrated initial evidence as an effective measure for detecting abnormal social behavior and discriminating bvFTD from EOAD. Future validation is recommended in larger and more diverse patient groups.
View details for DOI 10.1093/arclin/acu050
View details for PubMedID 25331776
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4296158