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Dayre McNally photo of Dr. McNally
Pediatric Intensivist, Department of Pediatrics, CHEO
Scientist, CHEO Research Institute
Associate Professor, Department of Paediatrics,
University of Ottawa
613-737-7600 Ext. 3553
Research Practice Areas:
Current Research:
Dr. McNally’s research investigates the role of vitamins, including vitamin D, in pediatric critical illness. This research has recently demonstrated that lower levels of vitamin D worsen critical illness and prolong PICU admission, and that blood levels of vitamin D levels are inadequate following surgery. Ongoing research studies are designed to determine how to optimize the vitamin D status of critically ill children through both pre-illness supplementation and post-illness rapid restoration strategies.

Research Team:

Dr. McNally is a Clinical Investigator at the CHEO Research Institute, and a Pediatric Intensivist with the Department of Pediatrics at CHEO. Dr. McNally has a PhD in biochemistry and is currently completing an MSc in clinical epidemiology.


Dr. McNally was awarded a Grant-in-Aid Award from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada for his work entitled, "Prevention of vitamin D deficiency after congenital heart disease surgery: a dose evaluation trial". Recent work done at CHEO by the PICU research group demonstrated that four out of every five congenital heart disease patients have inadequate blood levels of vitamin D following surgery. There is evidence that optimization of vitamin D status following congenital heart disease repair could lessen inflammation, reduce nosocomial infection and improve cardiac function. This proposal aims to determine whether pre-operative administration of a higher daily dose of vitamin D can safely prevent vitamin D deficiency following surgery.

Sample Publications:
McNally JD, Amrein K, O'Hearn K, Fergusson D, Geier P, Henderson M, Khamessan A, Lawson M, McIntyre L, Redpath S, Weiler H, Menon K. Study protocol for a Phase II dose evaluation randomized controlled trial of cholecalciferol in critically ill children with vitamin D deficiency (VITdAL-PICU Pilot Study). Pilot and Feasibility Studies. 2017.

McNally JD, Nama N, O’Hearn, Iliriani K, Sampson M, , McIntyre L, Fergusson D, Menon K. Vitamin D deficiency in critically ill children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Critical Care. 2017;21:287 DOI 10.1186/s13054-017-1875-y

Amrein K, Martucci G, McNally JD. When not to use meta-analysis: analysing the meta-analyses on vitamin D in critical care. Clinical Nutrition. 2017 Dec;36(6):1729-1730. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2017.08.009.

McNally JD, Ginde AA, Amrein K. “Clarification needed for the Systematic Review of Vitamin D Trials in ICU”. Intensive Care Medicine. 2017 Jan 20. doi: 10.1007/s00134-016-4643-6. (PMID: 28108767)

Nama N, Xia MY, Iliriani K, Chen B, Zhou L, Pojsupap S, O’Hearn K, Kappel C, Sampson M, Menon K, McNally JD. “A pilot validation study of crowdsourcing systematic reviews: Update of a searchable database of pediatric clinical trials of high-dose vitamin D.” Translational Pediatrics. 6(1): 18-26 doi:10.21037/tp.2016.12.01. (PMID: 28164026)

McNally JD. “Vitamin D deficiency in pediatric critical illness: Time to move on from observational studies.” Revista Chilena de Pediatria. 87(6):439-441. (PMID: 28008857)

Menon K, McNally JD. “Endocrine Issues in Pediatric Critical Illness”. Journal of Pediatric Intensive Care. 2016, May, doi:10.1055/s-0036-1583284.

McNally JD, Amrein K. “Vitamin D deficiency in Pediatric Critical Care”. Journal of Pediatric Intensive Care. 2016, May, doi:10.1055/s-0036-1583285.

Nama N, Menon K, Iliriani K, Pojsupap S, Sampson M, O’Hearn, McIntyre L, Fergusson D, McNally JD. “A Systematic Review of Pediatric Clinical Trials of High Dose Vitamin D”. PeerJ, 2016; 25;4. (PMID: 26966655).

McNally JD. “Vitamin D deficiency in PICUs: a global problem and shared opportunity”. Paediatrics and International Child Health. 2016; 36(1):1-3 (PMID: 26825218)

Amrein K, McNally JD, Schnedl C, Dobnig H, Pieber TR. “High dose cholecalciferol in critically ill patients with liver cirrhosis”. Journal of Internal Medicine. 2016; 279(3):309-310. (PMID: 26707009, *Impact Factor: 6)

McNally JD, O’Hearn K, Lawson ML, Maharajh G, Geier P, Weiler H, Redpath S, McIntyre L, Fergusson D, Menon K (on behalf of the CCCTG). “Prevention of vitamin D deficiency in children following cardiac surgery: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.” Trials 2015; 16(1)402. (PMID: 26353829)

Amrein K, Kenneth C, McNally JD. “Understanding vitamin D deficiency in intensive care patients”. Intensive Care Medicine. 2015; 41(11):1961-4. (PMID: 26142054, Impact Factor: 7.2)

McNally JD, Menon K, Lawson ML, Williams K, Doherty DR. “Abnormal 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D levels in critically ill children: prevalence, risk factors and association with clinical course.” JCEM. 2015; 100(8): 2942-2945. (PMID: 26052726, *Impact Factor: 6.2)

Pojsupap S, Iliriani K, Sampaio T, O’Hearn K, Kovesi T, Menon K, McNally JD. “Efficacy of high-dose vitamin D in pediatric asthma: A systematic review and meta-analysis”. Journal of Asthma. 2015; 52(4) 382-390. (PMID: 25365192)

McNally JD, Iliriani K, Pojsupap S, Sampson M, O’Hearn K, McIntyre L, Fergusson D, Menon K. “Rapid normalization of vitamin D levels: A meta-analysis”. Pediatrics. 2015; 135(1): e152-e166. (PMID: 25511115) *Impact Factor: 5.5

Amrein K, McNally JD, Quraishi SA, Schnedl C. Native and Active Vitamin D in Intensive Care: Who and how we treat is Crucially Important”, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 2014; 190 (10):1193-1194. (PMID: 25398112, *Impact Factor: 13)

McNally JD, Sampson M , Matheson LA , Hutton B , Little J, "Vitamin D receptor (VDR) polymorphisms and severe RSV bronchiolitis: A systematic review and meta-analysis", Pediatric pulmonology. 2014; 49(8):790-9. (PMID: 24019226).

McNally JD. “Vitamin D as a modifiable risk factor in critical illness: questions and answers provided by observational studies”, J Pediatr (Rio J). 2014; Mar-Apr; 90(2):99-101. (PMID 24361295)

McNally JD, Menon K, "Vitamin D deficiency in surgical congenital heart disease: prevalence and relevance", Translational Pediatrics. 2013; 2(3), 99-101. (PMID: 26835300)
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