Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘cardiology retractions’ Category

Raw files help fix 2003 figure by heart researcher accused of fraud

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A researcher accused of misconduct by an anonymous Japanese blogger has corrected a 2003 paper in Circulation Research, after providing a university investigation with the original source files.

Allegations of fraud have dogged Shokei Kim-Mitsuyama for years, and even caused him to step down from his position as editor in chief at another journal. However, Kim-Mitsuyama and his colleagues call the latest correction a “mistake,” which didn’t affect any of the paper’s conclusions.

We’ve unearthed a total of five publications co-authored by Kim-Mitsuyama that have earned corrections, the latest of which cites an investigation by the university:

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Journals retract two heart papers with “nearly identical” abstracts

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Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 4.46.17 PMJournals have retracted two papers after realizing that they contain “nearly identical” abstracts and introductions, published only months apart. 

The two retracted papers, along with a third that also contains similar text, all conclude that a certain polymorphism could signal a risk for coronary artery disease among Chinese people, though each paper presents different data. The papers do not have any authors in common; the first authors are all based at different hospitals in China. The editor in chief of one journal told us that some of the reviewers did not use institutional email addresses, which leaves open the possibility that they were fake emails, and the peer-review process was compromised.

Here’s the first retraction notice, for “Fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 polymorphisms and susceptibility to coronary artery disease,” published in DNA and Cell Biology. The notice states the paper contains:

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Pharmacology journal pulls paper because third party “compromised” peer review

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BJCP CoverThe British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology (BCP) has retracted a 2015 paper about treating heart failure after deciding its peer review process had been compromised.

This paper is one of the many we’ve noticed lately that have been felled by the actions of a “third party” — in this case, a manuscript editing company called EditPub.

The newly retracted paper, “rhBNP therapy can improve clinical outcomes and reduce in-hospital mortality compared with dobutamine in heart failure patients: a meta-analysis,” has not yet been cited, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science.

Here’s the retraction note, which tells us a bit more: Read the rest of this entry »

Seven papers flagged earlier for fake reviews now retracted by Elsevier

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elsevierElsevier has now retracted the seven papers it flagged in October as being affected by fake peer reviews.

If you’re not keeping track, we are: We have logged a total of about 300 retractions for fake peer review, in which some aspect of the peer-review process becomes compromised — for instance, in the case of the newly retracted papers, authors appear to have created fake email accounts in order to pose as reviewers and give the green light to their own papers.

The same retraction note applies to five of the recently retracted papers:

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How does an abstract get published without any of the authors knowing?

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369Thrombosis Research has removed an abstract after all seven authors authors listed did not know that it had been submitted for publication.

We’ve seen many instances of some authors not being in on a submission, but a case in which all of the authors are in the dark? That’s new to us.

A spokesperson for Elsevier, the journal’s publisher, told us that the organizers of a conference submitted it to the journal as part of a supplement for a meeting, unbeknownst to the authors.

Here’s the odd “removal notice” for “The Characterisation of the Age-Specific Differences in Platelet Physiology and Function:”

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Biologist’s research under investigation in Sweden after being questioned on PubPeer

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Suchitra Sumitran-Holgersson

The University of Gothenburg in Sweden is investigating several papers co-authored by biologist Suchitra Sumitran-Holgersson after they were challenged on PubPeer.

Sumitran-Holgersson already has one retraction under her belt — of a 2005 Blood paper, after another investigation concluded the results “cannot be considered reliable.” Sumitran-Holgersson and her husband, co-author Jan Holgersson, did not sign the retraction notice. Both were based at the Karolinska Institutet (KI) at the time, but have since moved to the University of Gothenburg.

Now, the University of Gothenburg has launched its own investigation of the papers questioned on PubPeer, according to Read the rest of this entry »

Doctor suspended in UK after faking co-authors, data

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Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 11.04.56 AMA doctor in Manchester, UK has received a year’s suspension by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service.

Gemina Doolub admitted that she fabricated research data and submitted papers without the knowledge of her co-authors, including faking an email address for a co-author, a news story in the BMJ reports. The research in question was part of two retractions that Doolub received in 2013, one of which we covered at the time.

Doolub’s research examined ways to treat and avoid microvascular obstruction — that is, blocked arteries. Doolub did the work while at Oxford.

Intracoronary Adenosine versus Intravenous Adenosine during Primary PCI for ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction: Which One Offers Better Outcomes in terms of Microvascular Obstruction?” was published in International Scholarly Research Notices Cardiology and has not yet been cited, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science.

As the BMJ reports, in that paper,

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Don’t perform heart surgery described in retracted paper, says editor

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Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 10.53.50 PMA journal is retracting a paper about a heart surgery technique after discovering the researchers did not have ethics approval to perform a the procedure on 130 patients. What’s more, the local cardiac surgical society had asked the first author to stop using the method in 2004, six years before the study was complete.

The patients in the study had atrial septal defects — a congenital hole in their hearts that allows blood to leak between chambers. The retraction note concludes with the editor in chief advising other surgeons to not use the method to close the hole described in the retracted article, “Long-term assay of off-pump atrial septal defect closure using vena caval inflow occlusion and minimally invasive approaches in 130 cases.

A concern from a reader unraveled the paper. The retraction note explains how:

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Paper on alleged – and paradoxical – health benefits of obesity pulled for plagiarism

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cancer causes and controlAn article that suggested there is no benefit to being overweight among cancer survivors – the so-called “obesity paradox” – is being retracted for plagiarizing large sections from another paper that explored the same topic in cardiovascular disease.

The journal Cancer Causes & Control pulled the 2014 article last June after determining it contained “large portions” of text from another paper in Preventive Medicine by a different set of authors, which suggested that evidence linking obesity to health benefits in cardiovascular disease may stem from a form of selection bias.

Here’s more from the retraction note: Read the rest of this entry »

8th retraction appears for researcher who faked patient records

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S00219150An 8th paper has been retracted for Anna Ahimastos, a heart researcher who faked patient records.

It’s the last in a chain of retractions that were the result of an investigation by her former workplace, Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute in Australia. As with the others, she did not agree to the retraction.

The investigation found fabricated patients records in some papers; in other papers, such as the newly retracted 2010 study in Atherosclerosis, the original data source could not be verified.  The latest retraction — “A role for plasma transforming growth factor-β and matrix metalloproteinases in aortic aneurysm surveillance in Marfan syndrome?” — followed up on a previous clinical trial, examining how a blood pressure drug might help patients with a life-threatening genetic disorder.

That previous trial — which also included 17 patients with Marfan syndrome treated with either placebo or perindopril — has been retracted from JAMA; the New England Journal of Medicine has also retracted a related letter.

The latest retraction note conveys similar information to the other perindopril/Marfan syndrome retractions: Read the rest of this entry »