A photo of David Vitale

David S. Vitale, MD

  • Director, Interventional Endoscopy Center
  • Pancreas Care Center
  • Pediatric Gastroenterologist, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
  • Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics
I closely involve my patients and their families in the decision-making process about their care and work to understand how they approach their condition. I listen to their concerns and answer their questions. Together, we find the best individualized treatment plan.



As a pediatric gastroenterologist, I care for children with complex pancreas, biliary and other gastrointestinal diseases.

I know that decisions in medicine, gastroenterology and specifically pancreatitis are not always clear-cut. I closely involve my patients and their families in the decision-making process about their care and work to understand how they approach their condition. I listen to their concerns and answer their questions. Together, we find the best individualized treatment plan.

I specialize in advanced pediatric endoscopic techniques, including pediatric endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), double balloon enteroscopy (DBE) and endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR), among other advanced techniques. As a member of Cincinnati Children’s Pancreas Care Center, I care for children with complex pancreatic and biliary disease and other gastrointestinal problems requiring advanced endoscopic techniques.

My strong interest in biliary and pancreatic disease and advanced endoscopy began in high school, when I first learned about this area of medicine. I trained in residency and fellowship to care for both children and adults. As I continued to train, I knew I wanted to care for patients with these disease processes and learn advanced endoscopy to help them.

Although fewer children require advanced endoscopy procedures than adults, there are few pediatric endoscopy specialists and few gastroenterologists who focus on pediatric pancreatic and biliary disease. The need for pediatric endoscopy and pancreatic specialists, combined with the fact that working with children is much more fun, made my career choice an easy one.

My research focuses on investigating the safety and outcomes for pediatric advanced endoscopic procedures. Additionally, I am studying pancreatitis to learn why some patients develop severe or chronic pancreatitis, while others do not.

When I’m not at work, I enjoy spending time with my family and our two dogs. I also love to cook, hike and travel.

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Prospective characterization of incident hepatic steatosis in pediatric and adolescent patients after total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplantation. Vieira Alves, VP; Qiu, L; Abu-El-Haija, M; Tellez, S; Vitale, DS; Lin, TK; Tkach, JA; Nathan, JD; Dillman, JR; Trout, AT. Pancreatology. 2022.

Technological imbalance: Seeking a small-caliber duodenoscope. Lin, TK; Barth, B; Fishman, DS; Fox, VL; Giefer, MJ; Gugig, R; Kramer, RE; Liu, QY; Mamula, P; McOmber, ME; et al. Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. 2022.

Endoscopic Advancements in Pediatric Pancreatitis. Saad, M; Vitale, DS. Frontiers in Pediatrics. 2022; 10.

Interventional endoscopy for abdominal transplant patients. Lin, TK; Abu-El-Haija, M; Gurria, JP; Saad, M; Vitale, DS. Seminars in Pediatric Surgery. 2022; 31.

Ultrasound findings of acute pancreatitis in children. Trout, AT; Patel, R; Nathan, JD; Lin, TK; Vitale, DS; Nasr, A; Zhang, B; Abu-El-Haija, M. Pediatric Radiology. 2022.

Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography vs Endoscopy Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography for Detection of Anatomic Variants of the Pancreatic Duct in Children. Lin, TK; Vitale, DS; Abu-El-Haija, M; Anton, CG; Crotty, E; Li, Y; Zhang, B; Trout, AT. Journal of Pediatrics. 2022; 244:120-124.

Matrix metalloproteinases and their inhibitors in pediatric severe acute pancreatitis. Vitale, DS; Lahni, P; Hornung, L; Thompson, T; Farrell, PR; Lin, TK; Nathan, JD; Wong, HR; Abu-El-Haija, M. PLoS ONE. 2022; 17.

Predictors of Glycemic Outcomes at 1 Year Following Pediatric Total Pancreatectomy With Islet Autotransplantation. Swauger, SE; Hornung, LN; Elder, DA; Balamurugan, AN; Vitale, DS; Lin, TK; Nathan, JD; Abu-El-Haija, M. Diabetes Care. 2022; 45:295-302.

Endoscopic Mucosal Resection in Children. Vitale, DS; Wang, K; Jamil, LH; Park, KH; Liu, QY. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. 2022; 74:20-24.

Cytokine Profile Elevations on Admission Can Determine Risks of Severe Acute Pancreatitis in Children. Farrell, PR; Jones, EK; Hornung, L; Thompson, T; Patel, J; Lin, TK; Nathan, JD; Vitale, DS; Habtezion, A; Abu-El-Haija, M. Journal of Pediatrics. 2021; 238:33-41.e4.

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