Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘cardiology retractions’ Category

JAMA retracts second paper by heart researcher

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Screen-Shot-2015-10-27-at-10.53.53-AMA heart researcher who fabricated trial participants has notched a second JAMA retraction. The retraction comes at the request of her co-authors, after an investigation by her former employer wasn’t able to confirm that this study was valid.

In September, we learned that Anna Ahimastos, who used to work at Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia, had “fabricated [records] for trial participants that did not exist” in a JAMA trial for a blood pressure drug, according to principal investigator Bronwyn Kingwell.  That trial was retracted, along with a sub analysis.

An investigation by the institute found problems or sufficient doubt in several more publications. This second JAMA retraction is number 5 for Ahimastos, of 8 total expected.

The paper, “Effect of perindopril on large artery stiffness and aortic root diameter in patients with Marfan syndrome: a randomized controlled trial” Read the rest of this entry »

Heart researcher gets 3rd retraction for copying images of rat hearts

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1-s2.0-S0014299914X00233-cov150hWhen two papers include the same images of rat hearts, one of those papers gets retracted.

The papers share a corresponding author, Zhi-Qing Zhao of Mercer University School of Medicine in Savannah, Georgia. This marks his third retraction; we reported on two others earlier this year.

The papers examine the effect of curcumin, which has antinflammatory properties (in addition to giving the spice turmeric its yellow color). The retracted paper, “Dual ACE-inhibition and angiotensin II AT1 receptor antagonism with curcumin attenuate maladaptive cardiac repair and improve ventricular systolic function after myocardial infarctionin rat heart,” was published in the January 5, 2015 issue of the European Journal of Pharmacology, and has zero citations, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. It shares multiple figures with another 2012 paper, “Curcumin promotes cardiac repair and ameliorates cardiac dysfunction following myocardial infarction,” published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, which has not been retracted. The BJP paper has been cited 18 times.

Here’s the retraction note for the EJP paper:

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Heart researcher who faked patient data gets 4th retraction

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XLargeThumb.00004872-201512000-00000.CVA heart researcher who fabricated patient records for her studies on the blood pressure medication ramipril has earned her fourth retraction, and more are apparently on the way.

For readers who are new to this case: Things first unraveled for Anna Ahimastos when a subanalysis of a JAMA clinical trial revealed “anomalies,” triggering an investigation. After Ahimastos admitted to fabricating patient data, that JAMA paper and two others — including a small trial in Annals of Internal Medicine — were pulled. A spokesperson for her former employer, Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute, told us last week that they have requested more retractions:

Five papers and one letter are in the process of being retracted.

The Annals and this latest paper are included in the five papers, so we expect to see Read the rest of this entry »

Heart researcher who faked patient data gets third retraction

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Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 6.38.09 PMA heart researcher has notched her third retraction, a small 2006 trial in Annals of Internal Medicine which seemed to show that a blood pressure drug could help people with artery disease walk further with less pain.

Earlier this year, Anna Ahimastos, formerly a researcher at Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, lost a larger clinical trial in JAMA and a subanalysis in Circulation Research after it was discovered she’d fabricated patient records. As principle investigator Bronwyn Kingwell told us in September:

Specifically, records were fabricated for trial participants that did not exist.

Now, following an investigation by the institute, her co-authors are proactively retracting papers, with more to come. The Annals of Internal Medicine paper, “Ramipril Markedly Improves Walking Ability in Patients With Peripheral Arterial Disease,” is being pulled due to an “inability to adequately validate primary data sources.” According to the note, Ahimastos “maintains the integrity of the data and validity of reported results:”

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Authors defend publishing clinical trial six times, even as they earn two more retractions

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Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 12.14.06 PMIn August, we reported on a clinical trial on hundreds of hypertensive patients that was published six times. Now, copies published in Expert Opinion on Drug Safety and Journal of the American Society of Hypertension (JASH) have been retracted, making for a total of three retractions for the group of papers.

The authors have defended the papers as being decidedly “different,” but one of the latest retraction notes points to an earlier retraction by some of the same authors (including first author Giuseppe Derosa, at the University of Pavia in Italy) for publishing two papers that “contain considerable text that is duplicative.”

Inflammation editor in chief Bruce Cronstein, who retracted one of the six duplicated papers from the clinical trial, told us in August that he and the editors of the other journals were all contacted “en masse” by an author doing a Cochrane Review on hypertension, who noticed that all six papers were “nearly identical.”

Just recently, we received a statement from the authors — sent by corresponding author Derosa — which argued that even if six papers stem from one trial, each was decidedly “different:”

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“Fabricated results” retract JAMA clinical trial, plus a sub-analysis of the data

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Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 11.00.11 AMA JAMA clinical trial that suggested a blood pressure drug could help patients increase their physical fitness, and a sub-analysis of those data, have been retracted after “an admission of fabricated results” by the first author on both papers.

The three-year clinical trial was published in JAMA in 2013.  It was retracted this morning.

The trial found ramipril helped patients with artery disease walk longer and with less pain, according to the abstract:

Among patients with intermittent claudication, 24-week treatment with ramipril resulted in significant increases in pain-free and maximum treadmill walking times compared with placebo. This was associated with a significant increase in the physical functioning component of the SF-36 score.

The retraction note explains how the fabricated data came to light: 

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“Exactly the same clinical study” published six times

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4A group of researchers conducted a clinical trial on hundreds of hypertensive patients. Then, they published the results…six times.

The “nearly identical” papers came to our attention via a retraction in Inflammation. Editor in chief Bruce Cronstein explained how he learned of the mass duplication:

The editors were contacted en masse by somebody doing a Cochrane Review on hypertension and who noticed that the content of the 6 papers was nearly identical.  Frankly, not one of us would have noticed otherwise.

Another of those papers, in the European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, has also been retracted. That note is similar to the retraction notice for the Inflammation paper, both of which have been cited twice:

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Yup, this happened: “Mystery” writer impersonated cardiovascular pathologist, penned published letter

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A 2014 letter in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology has been retracted because editors aren’t sure who wrote it.

“Can Grayscale IVUS Detect Necrotic Core-Rich Plaque?”, a letter on the potential of intravascular ultrasound, was submitted under the name of a researcher at the University of Copenhagen, Erling Falk. The paper was sent with a Gmail account (a technique used by some academics to conduct fake peer reviews), and editors communicated with the author through the acceptance process.

Shortly after the letter was published, Erling Falk of Aarhus University contacted the journal and asked who wrote the letter. They discovered that nobody by that name worked at the University of Copenhagen and emails to the author’s Gmail address went unanswered. So the journal issued a retraction.

Here’s the complete notice:

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Heart repair study retraction marks second for Mercer University researcher

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BasicResCardio_ak12Authors of a study on cardiac repair after heart attack are retracting it from Basic Research in Cardiology because they used “the same samples… to represent two distinct groups on two occasions.”

We find the language of the retraction somewhat confusing, but to the best of our understanding it means that they compared apples to the exact same apples.

The study, published online in 2012, examined the mechanism behind the beneficial effects of a procedure called postconditioning in treating heart attacks. Here’s the retraction notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Highly cited paper on women and heart disease retracted for failure to replicate

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jcemA highly cited study examining the risks of heart disease in post-menopausal women with symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) has been retracted by its authors because they could not replicate the results.

Here’s the retraction notice for the paper, which appeared in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism: Read the rest of this entry »