Department of Medicine
Faculty Profiles by Division

Department of Medicine

Faculty Profiles

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photo Charles W. Atwood Jr., MD, FCCP, FAASM

Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine

Associate Professor of Medicine

Director, Sleep Disorders Program, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System


Phone: 412-647-2461

Office: UPMC Montefiore Hospital, NW628
3459 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone: 412-647-2461
Administrative Assistant:
Cindy Hatfield
Phone: 412-647-2461
Fax: 412-692-2260
Education and Training
BA, The University of the South, 1982
MD, University of Alabama School of Medicine Birmingham, 1988
Internal Medicine - Intern, University of Alabama Hospital Birmingham, 1989
Internal Medicine - Residency, University of Alabama Hospital Birmingham, 1991
Pulmonary/Critical Care Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, 1994
Sleep Medicine Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, 1995
Research Interest
Sleep apnea management with a focus on novel ways to diagnose and provide long-term care for sleep apnea patients-In particular, in the role of home sleep apnea testing as a way of diagnosing sleep apnea. Working closely with with Dr. Pat Strollo, Dr. Charles Atwood studies home sleep apnea testing and other aspects of sleep apnea diagnosis and therapy. He has also worked with the pacemaker industry (Guidant/Boston Scientific) on studies examining various aspects of pacemaker technology as a possible diagnostic or treatment device in sleep apnea. He is currently collaborating with Dr. John Hotchkiss and others in the Department of Critical Care Medicine on studies looking at new methods of identifying physiological patterns in sleep apnea that may allow for better clinical phenotyping of sleep apnea patients.
COPD, focusing on longterm oxygen therapy and clinical trials in COPD-
Dr. Atwood collaborates with the Emphysema Research Center on clinical trials in this area. Through the ERC, he is part of the NIH’s COPD clinical research network.
Relation between swallowing and breathing-Working with Dr. Roxann Gross of the UPMC Eye and Ear Institute, Dr. Atwood studies various aspects of the regulation of swallowing and breathing. This work has led to a better understanding of some basic physiological mechanisms with possible practical relevance that may lead to better therapy for dysphagia.
Lung nodule management-Dr. Atwood started a program at the VAPHS for the rapid evaluation of lung nodules referred to the pulmonary division.
Clinical Interest
Dr. Atwood is the founding director of the sleep medicine program and laboratory at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System (VAPHS). He sees patients at the VAPHS and at the Comprehensive Lung Center at UPMC, working with all types of sleep disorders in his clinical work at both sites. In addition to sleep disorders, he is interested in the clinical management of lung nodules. He also leads a lung nodule evaluation program at the VAPHS.
Educational Interest
Dr. Atwood started the ACGME accredited sleep medicine fellowship at UPMC in 2006 and serves as its director. He enjoys working with other faculty, residents and fellows in pulmonary, psychiatry, pediatrics and neurology to further the mission of sleep medicine at UPMC.
For my complete bibliography, Click Here.
Selected Publications:
Gillespie, AI, Slivka, W, Atwood, CW Jr, Verdolini Abbott, K. The effects of hyper and hypocapnia on phonatory laryngeal airway resistance in women. J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2015; epub ahead of print.
Atwood, CW. How few signals are needed to diagnose sleep apnea?:Commentary on Masa et al. Effectiveness of Home Single-Channel Nasal Pressure for Sleep Apnea Diagnosis. Sleep. 2014; 37: 1883-84.
Khan, A, King, WC, Patterson, EJ, Laut, J, Raum, W, Courcoulas, AP, Atwood, C, Wolfe, BM. Assessment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Adults Undergoing Bariatric Surgery in Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery-2 (LABS-2) Study. J Clin Sleep Med. 2013; 9(1): 21-29.
Kuna, ST, Gurubhagavatula, I, Maislin, G, Hin, S, Hartwig, KC, McCloskey, S, Hachadoorian, R, Hurley, S, Gupta, R, Staley, B, Atwood, CW. Non-inferiority of functional outcome in ambulatory management of obstructive sleep apnea. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2011; 183: 1238-44.
Shalaby, A, Atwood, CW, Selzer, F, Suffoletto, M, Gorcsan, Iii J, Strollo, P. Cardiac resynchronization therapy and obstructive sleep-related breathing disorder in patients with congestive heart failure. Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 2011; May;34(5): 593-603.
Oktay, B, Rice, TB, Atwood, CW Jr, Passero, M, Gupta, N, Givelber, R, Drumheller, OJ, Houck, P, Gordon, N, Strollo, PJ Jr. Evaluation of a single channel portable monitor for the diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. J Clin Sleep Med. 2011; 7: 384-90.
Gross, RD, Atwood, CW Jr, Ross, SB, Olszewski, JW, Eichorn, KA. The coordination of breathing and swallowing in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2009; Apr 1;179(7): 559-65.
Gross, RD, Atwood, CW Jr, Ross, SB, Eichhorn, KA, Olszewski, JW, Doyle, PJ. The coordination of breathing and swallowing in Parkinson’s disease. Dysphagia. 2008; Jun;23(2): 136-45.
Shalaby, AA, Atwood, CW, Hansen, C, Konermann, M, Freedman, R, Fowler, J, Simpson, R, Bornemann, MA, Kwok, J, Pu, Y, Lee, K, Hartley, J, Willems, R, Neuzner, J. Analysis of interactions of acute atrial overdrive pacing with sleep-related breathing disorder. Am J Cardiol. 2007; Feb 15;99(4): 573-8.
Shalaby, AA, Atwood, C, Hansen, C, Konermann, M, Jamnadas, P, Lee, K, Willems, R, Hartley, J, Stahmann, Kwok, J, Ni, Q, Neuzner, J. Feasibility of automated detection of advanced sleep disordered breathing utilizing an implantable ventilation sensor. Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 2006; Oct;29(10): 1036-43.
Notable Achievements
American College of Physicians, 1991-present
American Thoracic Society, 1992-present
Fellow, American College of Physicians, 1992-present
American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 1994-present