Madoff retracts scientific paper

dcrectNo, not that Madoff.

We’re talking about Robert Madoff, editor of Diseases of the Colon & Rectum. His journal is pulling a 2012 paper by a group of authors in Spain who seem to have been unable to back up their findings when they were found to contain errors.

The article, “Perianal versus endoanal application of glyceryl trinitrate 0.4% ointment in the treatment of chronic anal fissure: results of a randomized controlled trial. Is this the solution to the headaches?” looked at what evidently is a significant side effect of nitroglycerin treatment for anal fissures: headaches. According to the abstract:

Endoanal application significantly reduces the frequency of headaches due to treatment with 0.4% nitroglycerin ointment and results in a higher healing rate compared with perianal administration. However, roughly 1 in 4 patients still experiences headaches. Our data suggest that endoanal application may be a better option for treatment of anal fissure with nitroglycerin ointment.

But as Madoff wrote in his retraction notice, that claim was based on some bogus accounting:

Statistical errors have been detected in the article entitled “Perianal Versus Endoanal Application of Glyceryl Trinitrate 0.4% Ointment in the Treatment of Chronic Anal Fissure: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial: Is This the Solution to the Headaches?” by Pérez-Legaz et al., published in the August 2012 issue of Diseases of the Colon & Rectum. The primary data has been lost and a re-analysis cannot be performed. This article has been retracted in full.

Data from a study published just nine months ago has already been lost? Okay, then.

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