Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘anesthesia & analgesia retractions’ Category

The standard in transparency? Editor praises author honesty that led to retraction in anesthesia journal

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Sometimes, a junior member of the team sees things an editor-in-chief misses.

Regular readers know that we’re always delighted when we get a chance to commend researchers and journals for doing the right thing. Here’s an example that sets the standard.

Anesthesia & Analgesia (A&A) is retracting a 2015 paper which purportedly found important differences in patient outcomes based on the quality of their anesthesiologists. The trouble with the article: Read the rest of this entry »

Scott Reuben notches 25th retraction, for a letter to the editor

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Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 11.08.26 AMAnother domino has fallen for the infamous and prolific former anesthesiologist Scott Reuben. This time it’s a retraction for a letter to the editor that cites one of his since-retracted papers.

The letter, published in 2001, argues that local anesthesia is a “safe, reliable, inexpensive, and practical alternative to the use of epidural, spinal, or general anesthesia” for outpatient knee surgery. But to support his point, he uses one of his papers that has since been retracted for data fabrication.

The note from Anesthesia & Analgesia explains:
Read the rest of this entry »

Boldt’s data were fake in 1996 paper

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Ludwigshafen Hospital, via Wikimedia

Ludwigshafen Hospital, via Wikimedia

Update, 4 p.m. EST, 10/29/14: As a commenter points out, we didn’t quite get this one right. The Boldt paper that has been retracted was not previously retracted for lack of IRB approval. Rather, it was a heretofore unretracted article, from 1996, which German investigators have determined contained faked data. We’ve made edits below using strikethroughs, and have changed the headline to better reflect the content. We apologize for the errors.

We’ve commented before on the fact that we’ve noticed there’s often more to retractions whose stated reason is lack of institutional review board (IRB) approval. We can understand editors’ inclination to act as quickly as possible to issue a retraction, the scientific publishing equivalent of jailing Al Capone for tax evasion. But we appreciate it even more when said editors return to the scene of the crime, as it were, when new important details come out.

Case in point: Anesthesia & Analgesia has amended its retraction of a 2009 1996 study by Joachim Boldt — who with nearly 90 retractions once held the record in that department — based on findings that the data in that paper were fabricated.

The article was titled “Cardiopulmonary bypass priming using a high dose of a balanced hydroxyethyl starch versus an albumin-based priming strategy,” “The effects of albumin versus hydroxyethyl starch solution on cardiorespiratory and circulatory variables in critically ill patient.”  had previously been retracted because Boldt had failed to obtain adequate ethics approval for the research. But now comes this, According to the retraction notice from editor in chief Steven Shafer: Read the rest of this entry »

Columbia University misconduct retraction highlights what’s wrong with the retraction process

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jcacoverThe Journal of Clinical Anesthesia has a retraction of a 2006 paper by a group from Columbia University that, to our minds, is the poster child for how not to handle such things.

The article, “Dexmedetomidine infusion is associated with enhanced renal function after thoracic surgery,” was written by Robert J. Frumento, Helene G. Logginidou, Staffan Wahlander, Gebhard Wagener, Hugh R. Playford and Robert N. Sladen, who now is chief of critical care at the institution. The paper has been cited 30 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

Why do we bother to name all the authors? Here’s why: According to the retraction notice, one of them — but don’t ask which — is guilty of research misconduct: Read the rest of this entry »

Retraction record broken, again: University report should up Fujii total to 183

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a&amisconductcoverKeeping up with the various investigations into the activities of Yoshitaka Fujii — the assumed record holder for retractions by a single author, with 172 likely — can be a challenge. Between the journals pulling his papers and the institutions looking into his misconduct, it’s hard to keep everything straight.

But we have a new report, from a past employer, that makes for interesting reading and helps tie up some loose ends. The document is from Tsukuba University, where Fujii worked more than a decade ago when questions about the propriety of his findings first surfaced. Read the rest of this entry »

Update on Fujii: Anesthesia journal finds overwhelming statistical evidence of data fabrication

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There’s a bit more this afternoon on the story of Yoshitaka Fujii, the Japanese anesthesiologist accused of fraud and other misconduct that we reported on yesterday.

The British journal Anaesthesia, which has been looking into Fujii’s research record, has posted four articles and editorials about the case and related issues on its website. One in particular is remarkable for its conclusions. Written by a UK anesthesiologist named John Carlisle, the article claims to have analyzed 169 randomized controlled trials that Fujii conducted between 1991 and 2011.

According to the abstract (which we formatted for readability, and which should be online shortly, we’re told): Read the rest of this entry »

Joachim Boldt retraction tally drops by one, editors say (but record’s still safe)

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As the news of Joachim Boldt’s staggering number of retractions leaps from Retraction Watch into the mainstream press, the consortium of journal editors retracting his studies has backtracked ever so slightly, announcing today that one of the 89 studies for which the German anesthesiologist lacked ethics approval in fact had such sanction.

According to the now-16 (Updated 3/7/11, as it is up from 11 several days ago) editors, LÄK-RLP,  the German body investigating the ethics component of the Boldt case: Read the rest of this entry »

22 papers by Joachim Boldt retracted, and 67 likely on the way

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Self-plagiarism alert: A very similar version of this post is being published online in Anesthesiology News, where one of us (AM) is managing editor.

Anesthesia & Analgesia has retracted 22 papers by Joachim Boldt, the discredited German anesthesiologist whose prolific career as a researcher has unraveled with stunning rapidity — and 67 more retractions are likely on the way from 10 other titles  that have published his work.

The 22 retractions, announced Feb. 25 on the journal’s website, come less than a month after the state medical board overseeing an investigation into Boldt’s publications said that it was looking into more than 90 of his articles out of concern that he had failed to obtain proper approval from an institutional review board for the work.

The board, Landesärztekammer Rheinland-Pfalz (LÄK-RLP), investigated 102 articles. Investigators could not find evidence of adequate IRB approval for 89 papers; for the remaining, 11 had IRB approval and two did not require it, according to the A&A notice, which was signed by  editor-in-chief Steven L. Shafer: Read the rest of this entry »

Unglaublich! Boldt investigation may lead to more than 90 retractions

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Ludwigshafen Hospital, via Wikimedia

Self-plagiarism alert: A very similar version of this post is being published online in Anesthesiology News, where one of us (AM) is managing editor.

Unglaublich is the German word for unbelievable, and it’s an apt description for the latest development in the case of Joachim Boldt.

Boldt, a prominent German anesthesiologist, has been at the center of a research and publishing investigation since last October, when the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia retracted a 2009 article of his over concerns of data manipulation. This morning, the German medical board overseeing the case, the Landesärztekammer Rheinland-Pfalz (LÄK-RLP),  released its findings — and they are truly stunning.

According to LAK, somewhere in the neighborhood of 90 of Boldt’s published articles might require retraction because the investigator failed to obtain approval from an institutional review board to conduct the research.

We don’t read German. But, fortunately, the LÄK-RLP announcement was accompanied by a joint letter posted to the websites of 11 major anesthesia journals. We do read English, and here’s what that letter says: Read the rest of this entry »

After misrepresentation allegations, German anesthesiologist Joachim Boldt out as hospital’s chief physician

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Ludwigshafen Hospital, via Wikimedia

Joachim Boldt, a leading German anesthesiologist who had a 2009 paper in Anesthesia & Analgesia retracted last month* amid allegations  that he had misrepresented parts of the study, has been relieved of his duties as chief physician at Ludwigshafen Hospital.

A press release from the German Society for Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine (DGAI) condemns Boldt’s actions. The press release goes on (translated from German): Read the rest of this entry »