A photo of David Vitale

Attending Physician, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition; Pancreas Care Center

Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics


Board Certified

My Biography & Research


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.

Clinical Interests

Endoscopic retrograde cholaniogopancreatography (ERCP); endoscopic ultrasound (EUS); pediatric advanced endoscopy; pediatric pancreatitis

Research Interests

Pediatric advanced endoscopy safety and outcomes; pediatric pancreatitis

Academic Affiliation

Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics


Gastroenterology GI, Pancreas Care, Gastroenterology

My Locations

My Education

MD: University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, KY, 2011.

Residency: Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Residency, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, 2011-2015.

Fellowship: Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, 2015-2018.

Fellowship: Advanced Endoscopy Fellowship, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, 2018-2019.

Certification: Internal Medicine, 2015; Pediatrics, 2017; Pediatric Gastroenterology, 2019.

My Publications

The Roles of Endoscopic Ultrasound and Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography in the Evaluation and Treatment of Chronic Pancreatitis in Children: A Position Paper From the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition Pancreas Committee. Liu, QY; Gugig, R; Troendle, DM; Bitton, S; Patel, N; Vitale, DS; Abu-El-Haija, M; Husain, SZ; Morinville, VD. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. 2020; 70:681-693.

Sensitivity of Biochemical and Imaging Findings for the Diagnosis of Acute Pancreatitis in Children. Orkin, SH; Trout, AT; Fei, L; Lin, TK; Nathan, JD; Thompson, T; Vitale, DS; Abu-El-Haija, M. The Journal of Pediatrics. 2019; 213:143-148.e2.

Blood Urea Nitrogen Elevation Is a Marker for Pediatric Severe Acute Pancreatitis. Vitale, DS; Hornung, L; Lin, TK; Nathan, JD; Prasad, S; Thompson, T; Abu-El-Haija, M. Pancreas. 2019; 48:363-366.

Predicting Pancreatitis Phenotype Based on a Shared Genotype. Vitale, DS; Abu-El-Haija, M; Lin, TK. Pancreas. 2018; 47:e3-e4.

Genetic Testing in Children with Recurrent and Chronic Pancreatitis. Vitale, DS; Abu-El-Haija, M. The Journal of Pediatrics. 2017; 191:10-11.

Adherence to Infliximab Treatment in a Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Cohort. Vitale, DS; Greenley, RN; Lerner, DG; Mavis, AM; Werlin, SL. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. 2015; 61:408-410.