Sonika Agarwal, M.B.B.S., MD, FAAN

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Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology
Clinical Chair, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Family StEPS: Starting Early with Psychosocial Support Program
Co-Diversity Officer, Division of Neurology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Clinical Director, Fetal Neonatal Neuroscience Center, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Section Head, Neonatal Neurology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Department: Neurology

Contact information
Dr. Sonika Agarwal
The HUB/Division of Neurology
3401 Civic Center Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Education:
MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery)
Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India, 1991.
DNB (Obstetrics & Gynecology)
Diplomate of National Board, New Delhi, India, 1996.
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Description of Clinical Expertise

Dr. Agarwal is a faculty member of the CHOP Fetal Neonatal Neurology Section/ Neuroscience Center, Richard D. Wood Jr. Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment, Neonatal Neurocritical Care Program and Pediatric Stroke Program. She is a neurology consultant in CHOP neonatal, cardiac and pediatric intensive care units. Dr. Agarwal has dual training in maternal fetal medicine and child neurology/fetal neonatal neurology. Her areas of expertise include fetal neurology, neonatal neurology, acute N/IICU management and neurodevelopmental follow up across the lifespan in neonates with perinatal brain injury, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), stroke, structural brain abnormalities and other high-risk perinatal events. She has educational and clinical collaborations with several regional maternal-fetal and neonatal centers.

Fetal-Neonatal Neurology
Neonatal Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy, Perinatal brain injury
Neonatal Stroke
Neurocritical care
Neurodevelopmental Outcomes
Prenatal brain malformations and perinatal counseling
Medical education

Description of Other Expertise

Clinical practice and outcomes research (fetal- neonatal neurology)
Advocacy for maternal, fetal and pediatric brain health
Global Health

Description of Research Expertise

Dr. Agarwal with her dual expertise as a maternal-fetal medicine and fetal neonatal neurology specialist has led the national collaborative work and is founder of the Fetal Neurology Consortium developed as an initiative under the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Transforming Leadership Program in 2020. The Fetal Neurology Consortium is comprised of eight members from fetal-neonatal neurology programs at US maternal-pediatric medical centers with the goal to develop applicable educational curricula to apply to multicenter research projects, educational partnerships and family resources for stakeholders. The collaborative work of this consortium led to formation of the Child Neurology Society Fetal Neurology Special Interest Group in June 2022 to foster an interdisciplinary collaborative network of pediatric neurology specialists. She also serves as Clinical Chair for the CHOP Family StEPS (Starting Early with Psychosocial Support) program, an initiative focused on developing a comprehensive and unified process for all families receiving fetal and early childhood care at CHOP.

Dr. Agarwal serves on the Board of Directors at the Child Neurology Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to helping children and their families living with a neurologic condition receive the best quality of care — and achieve their highest quality of life. She has leadership role as a Steering Committee Member to the Global Pregnancy Collaborative (CoLab), an international professional organization that explores improved global maternal care and adverse conditions confronted by the maternal/placental/fetal triad. She is also an Adjunct Member on Global Research on Developmental Disabilities Collaborators (GRDDC), a foremost culturally-diverse partnership for data driven optimal early childhood development.

She is an accomplished educator and has won several education awards. She is Director of the Resident Fellow Board of the Journal of Child Neurology/Child Neurology Open and an Associate Editor in Fetal Neonatal Section. She is a peer reviewer for several journals and has presented and organized symposia at national/international conferences. She has also developed several podcasts for medical and family education. She has several active clinical research and educational projects in fetal-neonatal neurology. She is also a Faculty Advisor for the AAN Transforming Leadership Program to mentor a diverse group of future leaders in neurology and a participant on the AAN Neurology on the Hill for advocacy initiatives.

Fetal-neonatal neurology curriculum development and research
Clinical practice and outcomes research
Advocacy for maternal, fetal and pediatric health
Psychosocial support for families

Selected Publications

Sonika Agarwal, Tomo Tarui, Virali Patel, Abigail Turner, Usha Nagaraj, Charu Venkatesan.: Prenatal Neurologic Diagnosis: Challenges in Neuroimaging, Prognostic Counseling, and Prediction of Neurodevelopmental Outcomes. Pediatric Neurology. Dr. Yasmin Khakoo (eds.). Elsevier B.V. 142: 60-67, May 2023.

Tarui T, Venkatesan C, Gano D, Lemmon ME, Mulkey SB, Pardo AC, Emrick L, Scher M, Agarwal S: Fetal Neurology Practice Survey: Current Practice and the Future Directions. Pediatric Neurology. Dr. Yasmin Khakoo (eds.). 145: 74-79, August 2023.

Tomo Tarui, Charu Venkatesan, Dawn Gano, Monica Lemmon, Sarah B. Mulkey, Andrea Pardo, Lisa Emrick, Mark Scher, Sonika Agarwal: Fetal Neurology Practice Survey. 14th International Newborn Brain Conference (INBBC) 2023 February 2023.

Rudmila Rashid, Ashley Bach, Virali Patel, Khushboo Saha, Juliana Gebb, Shelly Soni, Kendra Miller, Ana G. Cristancho, Sonika Agarwal: Agenesis of the corpus callosum: clinical characteristics and outcomes among children with complete or partial agenesis in a twenty-year retrospective cohort. Child Neurology Society 52nd Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC, Canada October 2023 Notes: Poster accepted.

Kumar N, Nomakuchi T, Vossough A, Leonard JMM, Dubbs H, Agarwal S: A Case of INPP5E-Related Joubert Syndrome: Connecting Evolving Phenotype With Novel Genotype. Pediatric Neurology. Dr. Yasmin Khakoo (eds.). 145: 112-114, August 2023.

Kirsten E. Craddock, Jillian L. McKee, Mark Fitzgerald, Rebecca Ahrens-Nicklas, Sonika Agarwal.: Neonatal hypertonia and progressive respiratory failure due to novel heterozygous mutation in ATAD1. Pediatric Neurology Dr. Yasmin Khakoo (eds.). Elsevier Inc, ISSN 0887-8994. 142: 56-57, March 2023.

Renee DiCicco, Natalie Burrill, Haley Crane, Nahla Khalek, Juliana Gebb, Sonika Agarwal, Matthew Whitehead, Deborah Zarnow, Edward Oliver, Ashley Bach, Julie Moldenhauer: Two Cases of Prenatally Diagnosed Cri-du-Chat Syndrome and Associated MRI Findings. ACMG Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA March 2023.

Virali Patel, Tomo Tarui, Charulata Venkatesan, Sonika Agarwal: Prenatal Neurologic Diagnosis: Challenges in Neuroimaging, Prognostic Counseling, and Prediction of Neurodevelopmental Outcomes. Child Neurology Society Annual Meeting 2022 October 2022.

Angie Ellison, Brenna Aredas, Andrea Duncan, Sonika Agarwal, Hannah Andersen, Marissa Anto, Jackie Arce, Dorene Balmer. Mia Benson, Kenisha Campbell, Marleny Franco, Bridget Godwin, Herodes Guzman, Jen Heimall, Nola Juste, Marissa Kilberg, Stephen Leff, Sonya Lopez, Nadea Mak, Ignacio Tapia, Lela Villegas, Nicole Washington, Brittany Waiters, Kate Wallis, Caroline Wilkes, Lisa Wray, Jackie Zedalis, Joe St Geme : Doing the Work To Create A Diverse, Equitable and Anti-racist Environment in Academic Medicine. Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting 2022, Denver, Colorado April 2022.

Joseph Vithayathil; Colbey Freeman; Marin Jacobwitz; Erin Simon Schwartz; Sonika Agarwal: Prolonged neurologic deficits with brain MRI changes following ECT in an adolescent with CACNA1a-related disorder; a case report. BMC Neurology BMC Neurol. 2022 Dec 9;22(1):466. doi: 10.1186/s12883-022-02994-7. PMID: 36494636 Springer Nature, 22(466): 3-6, December 2022.

Sonika Agarwal, Mark Scher: Fetal Neonatal Neurology Program Development: Continuum of care During the First 1000 Days. Journal of Perinatology Springer Nature, 42(2): 165-168, Feb 2022.

Sonika Agarwal : The Guiding Star: The Journey of an International Physician From Maternal Fetal Medicine to Fetal Neonatal Neurology. Child Neurology Open Sage Neuroscience and Neurology, July 2021 Notes: ecollection.

Agarwal S, Scher MS, Tilton A: Cerebral Palsy and Rehabilitative Care: The Role of Home-Based Care and Family-Centered Approach. Indian Pediatrics 9(58): 813-814, September 2021.

Natalie Burrill, Beverly Coleman, Sonika Agarwal, Julie Moldenhauer, Nahla Khalek.: Prenatal Diagnosis of Two Co-Occurring Genetic Conditions: FOGX1 Contiguous Deletion and Becker Muscular Dystrophy. American College Medical Genetics Annual Conference March 2021.

Agarwal S, Keller J, Clark GD, Emrick LT: Fetal central nervous system malformations: a ten year review of prenatal consultations at a tertiary care center. Child Neurology Society Poster Presentation, Vancuover, Canada Sept 2016 Notes: Outstanding Junior Member Award CNS 2016.

Carlyn Patterspn Gentile, Duriel Hardy, Sonika Agarwal: Acute fulminant cerebral edema: a profile of 5 pediatric cases from a tertiary care center. Poster, American Academy of Neurology Annual Conference May 2020.

Stowe RC, Kan P, Breen DB, Agarwal S: Mechanical thrombectomy for pediatric acute stroke and ventricular assist device. Brain Dev 40(1): 81-84, 2018.

Agarwal S, Keller JR, Nunneley CE, Muscal E, Braun MC, Srivaths P, Lotze TE: Therapeutic Plasma Exchange Use in Pediatric Neurologic Disorders at a Tertiary Care Center: A 10-Year Review. Journal of Child Neurology Marc C. Patterson (eds.). Sage Journals, 33(2): 140-145, February 2018.

Sonika Agarwal: When and how to diagnose a child with cerebral palsy. Agarwal S. (2019) When and How to Evaluate the Child with Possible Cerebral Palsy. In: Miller F., Bachrach S., Lennon N., O'Neil M. (eds) Cerebral Palsy. Springer, Cham. Miller F., Bachrach S., Lennon N., O'Neil M (eds.). Page: 1-9, November 2018.

Agarwal S: Emrick L. De Novo Mutations in Patients with Ataxic CP. Pediatr Neurol Briefs 29(8): 62, 2015.

Agarwal S, Agarwal A, Bansal AK, Agarwal DK, Agarwal KN: Birth weight patterns in rural undernourished pregnant women. Indian Pediatrics 39(3): 244-253, 2002.

Rhombencephalosynapses and neurodevelopmental outcomes: a review of 4 cases: Agarwal S, Clark GD, Emrick LT. Child Neurology Society Poster Session, Vancouver,Canada Sept 2016.

Keller J, Nunneley C, Srivaths P, Braun MC, Muscal E, Lotze TE, Agarwal S: A ten year profile of plasmapheresis use in pediatric neurologic disorders at a tertiary care center. American Academy of Neurology Poster Presentation, Boston, MA April 2017.

Agarwal S, Keller J, Clark GD, Emrick LT: Fetal central nervous system malformations: a ten year review of prenatal consultations at a tertiary care center. American Academy of Neurology Poster Presentation, Boston, MA April 2017.

Sonika Agarwal, Alison Christy: JCN: What Your Pediatric Neurologist Wants You to Know: Neonatal Neurology JCN's Residents and Fellows Board Director, Dr. Alison Christy, interviews Dr. Sonika Agarwal, a neonatal neurologist from Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia. http://sageneuroscience.sage-publications.libsynpro.com/ Sage Neuroscience and Neurology Journal of Child Neurology/Child Neurology Open Podcast Series. Sage Neuroscience and Neurology Journal of Child Neurology/Child Neurology Open (eds.). Sage Neuroscience and Neurology Journal of Child Neurology/Child Neurology Open, March 2021.

Sonika Agarwal, Alison Christy: JCN: NICU Series- Prematurity and the Brain Dr. Sonika Agarwal of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia talks about prematurity and the brain. http://sageneuroscience.sage-publications.libsynpro.com/jcn-nicu-series-prematurity-and-the-brain Sage Neuroscience and Neurology Journal of Child Neurology/Child Neurology Open Podcast Series. Sage Neuroscience and Neurology Journal of Child Neurology/Child Neurology Open, June 2021.

Sonika Agarwal: Wed, 9 June 2021 JCN: Interview with Mary Kay Ballasiotes, pediatric stroke advocate Dr. Sonika Agarwal of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia interviews Mary Kay Ballasiotes, pediatric stroke advocate and parent of a child with cerebral palsy from a stroke at birth. Learn more at the International Alliance for Pediatric Stroke. http://sageneuroscience.sage-publications.libsynpro.com/jcn-interview-with-mary-kay-ballasiotes-pediatric-stroke-advocate Sage Neuroscience and Neurology Journal of Child Neurology/Child Neurology Open Podcast Series. Sage Neuroscience and Neurology Journal of Child Neurology/Child Neurology Open Podcast Series (eds.). Sage Neuroscience and Neurology Journal of Child Neurology/Child Neurology Open, June 2021.

Sonika Agarwal, Alison Christy: JCN: NICU Series- Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum Dr. Sonika Agarwal of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia talks about Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum. http://sageneuroscience.sage-publications.libsynpro.com/jcn-nicu-series-agenesis-of-the-corpus-callosum Sage Neuroscience and Neurology Journal of Child Neurology/Child Neurology Open Podcast Series. Sage Neuroscience and Neurology Journal of Child Neurology/Child Neurology Open (eds.). Sage Neuroscience and Neurology Journal of Child Neurology/Child Neurology Open, June 2021.

Sonika Agarwal: JCN: NICU Series- Interview with a Parent and the Brain Recovery Project: Childhood Epilepsy Foundation https://sageneuroscience.libsyn.com/jcn-nicu-series-interview-with-a-parent-and-the-brain-recovery-project-childhood-epilepsy-foundation. Sage Neuroscience and Neurology Journal of Child Neurology/Child Neurology Open (eds.). Sage Neuroscience and Neurology Journal of Child Neurology/Child Neurology Open June 2022.

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Last updated: 07/11/2024
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