Thomas Lee Ortel, MD, PhD

Professor of Medicine
Chief, Division of Hematology in the Department of Medicine
Professor of Pathology
Member of the Duke Cancer Institute
Campus mail 0563 Stead Bldg, Durham, NC 27710
Phone (919) 684-5350
Email address ortel001@mc.duke.edu

My research program investigates the molecular mechanisms whereby various congenital and acquired abnormalities result in ‘dysfunctional’ hemostasis (i.e., hemorrhage or thrombosis) to better understand the molecular mechanisms and interactions that are necessary for normal hemostasis. We are particularly interested in the mechanisms whereby antibodies and other inhibitors can interfere with normal hemostatic mechanisms. Several projects extensively overlap and focus on the assembly and function of procoagulant (e.g., factor X-ase and prothrombinase) and anticoagulant (e.g., activated protein C complex) phospholipid membrane-dependent complexes.

We utilize a variety of approaches in these studies. Monoclonal antibodies, single-chain variable domain fragments, polyclonal antibodies prepared from patients with factor VIII inhibitors, and site-specific mutagenesis have all been used to characterize structure-function relationships in coagulation factor VIII. Our laboratory has also extensively characterized anti-factor V antibodies, investigating autoantibodies as well as xenogenic antibodies developing after exposure to topical bovine thrombin preparations which contain trace amounts of contaminating bovine factor V. We have also characterized how antiphospholipid antibodies interfere with the activated protein C complex, a lipid-dependent natural anticoagulant complex that proteolytically inactivates factor Va and factor VIIIa.

Our current studies are focusing on two antibody-mediated thrombotic syndromes, heparin-induced thrombocytopenia and antiphospholipid antibody syndrome. First, we are initiating a large clinical trial investigating the incidence of clinically-significant heparin-induced thrombocytopenia in patients who develop anti-heparin/platelet factor 4 antibodies following cardiac bypass procedures. While these antibodies are commonly seen following cardiac bypass, the true incidence of thromboembolic complications related to these prothrombotic antibodies remains unknown. We are also collaborating with investigators in the Center for Human Genetics on a large, multi-center study exploring the genetics of familial antiphospholipid antibody syndrome. In addition, we have used a genomic strategy to investigate patients with antiphospholipid antibody syndrome and have identified a gene expression profile that appears to be unique to patients with this syndrome in contrast to patients with venous thromboembolism who do not have these autoantibodies.

We also participate in a variety of collaborative research efforts, both with individual investigators as well as participating in multi-center clinical research studies. For example, we are one of seventeen centers participating in the NIH-supported Transfusion Medicine/Hemostasis Network, and we are currently conducting a trial through this network to define the optimal dose of platelets for patients needing platelet transfusions for hypoproliferative thrombocytopenia. We are also part of a multi-center registry of patients with thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, and we are one of eight centers in the Hemostasis and Thrombosis Center pilot program sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Participation in these registries and networks provides us with access to the patient populations that we study in the research laboratory.

In Their Words

Education and Training

  • Fellow in Hematology-Oncology, Medicineq, Duke University, 1988 - 1991
  • Medical Resident, Medicine, Duke University, 1985 - 1988
  • M.D., Indiana University at Indianapolis, 1985
  • Ph.D., Indiana University at Bloomington, 1983

Publications

Komforti, MK, Bressler, ES, Selim, MA, Bressler, GS, and Ortel, TL. "A rare cutaneous manifestation of hemorrhagic bullae to low-molecular-weight heparin and fondaparinux: report of two cases." Journal of cutaneous pathology 44, no. 1 (January 2017): 104-106. (Letter)

PMID
27766660
Full Text

Klinger, RY, Cooter, M, Berger, M, Podgoreanu, MV, Stafford-Smith, M, Ortel, TL, Welsby, IJ, Levy, JH, Rinder, HM, Newman, MF, Mathew, JP, and Neurologic Outcomes Research Group (NORG) of The Duke Heart Center, . "Effect of intravenous lidocaine on the transcerebral inflammatory response during cardiac surgery: a randomized-controlled trial." Canadian journal of anaesthesia = Journal canadien d'anesthesie 63, no. 11 (November 2016): 1223-1232.

PMID
27470233
Full Text

Voora, D, Rao, AK, Jalagadugula, GS, Myers, R, Harris, E, Ortel, TL, and Ginsburg, GS. "Systems Pharmacogenomics Finds RUNX1 Is an Aspirin-Responsive Transcription Factor Linked to Cardiovascular Disease and Colon Cancer." EBioMedicine 11 (September 2016): 157-164.

PMID
27566955
Full Text

Gauthier, K, Le Gal, G, Shivakumar, S, Anderson, D, Chagnon, I, Solymoss, S, Ortel, T, Yeo, E, Kearon, C, and Rodger, M. "Inter-observer reliability of the HERDOO2 clinical decision rule." Thrombosis research 141 (May 2016): 136-138. (Letter)

PMID
27031923
Full Text

Pavon, JM, Adam, SS, Razouki, ZA, McDuffie, JR, Lachiewicz, PF, Kosinski, AS, Beadles, CA, Ortel, TL, Nagi, A, and Williams, JW. "Effectiveness of Intermittent Pneumatic Compression Devices for Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis in High-Risk Surgical Patients: A Systematic Review." The Journal of arthroplasty 31, no. 2 (February 2016): 524-532. (Review)

PMID
26525487
Full Text

Kahn, SR, Shapiro, S, Ducruet, T, Wells, PS, Rodger, MA, Kovacs, MJ, Anderson, D, Tagalakis, V, Morrison, DR, Solymoss, S, Miron, MJ, Yeo, E, Smith, R, Schulman, S, Kassis, J, Kearon, C, Chagnon, I, Wong, T, Deniers, C, Hanmiah, R, Kaatz, S, Selby, R, Rathbun, S, Desmarais, S, Opatrny, L, Ortel, TL, Galanaud, JP, and Ginsberg, JS. "Medical compression stockings in the treatment of acute leg pain after proximal deep vein thrombosis: A randomized trial." Vasomed 28, no. 1 (January 1, 2016): 46-.

Scholars@Duke

Douketis, JD, Hasselblad, V, and Ortel, TL. "Bridging Anticoagulation in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation." The New England journal of medicine 374, no. 1 (January 2016): 93-94. (Letter)

PMID
26736004
Full Text

Rabinovich, A, Cohen, JM, Cushman, M, Kahn, SR, Anderson, DR, Chagnon, I, Demers, C, Desmarais, S, Ginsberg, JS, Hanmiah, R, Kaatz, S, Kassis, J, Kearon, C, Kovacs, MJ, Lazo-Langner, A, Miron, M-J, Opatrny, L, Ortel, TL, Rathbun, S, Rodger, MA, Schulman, S, Selby, R, Smith, R, Solymoss, S, Tagalakis, V, Wells, PS, Wong, T, and Yeo, E. "Association between inflammation biomarkers, anatomic extent of deep venous thrombosis, and venous symptoms after deep venous thrombosis." Journal of Vascular Surgery: Venous and Lymphatic Disorders 3, no. 4 (October 2015): 347-353.e1.

Full Text

Ortel, TL, Erkan, D, and Kitchens, CS. "How I treat catastrophic thrombotic syndromes." Blood 126, no. 11 (September 2015): 1285-1293. (Review)

PMID
26179082
Full Text

Faiz, AS, Khan, I, Beckman, MG, Bockenstedt, P, Heit, JA, Kulkarni, R, Manco-Johnson, M, Moll, S, Ortel, TL, and Philipp, CS. "Characteristics and Risk Factors of Cancer Associated Venous Thromboembolism." Thrombosis research 136, no. 3 (September 2015): 535-541.

PMID
26168693
Full Text

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