Jan P. Vandenbroucke, MD, PhD
Acknowledgment:The author thanks Iain Chalmers and Milos Jenicek for suggestions on an earlier draft and Micky Weingarten for providing one of the examples.
Requests for Single Reprints:Jan P. Vandenbroucke, MD, PhD, Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Leiden University Hospital Medical Center, Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, the Netherlands; e-mail, email@example.com.
Case reports and case series have their own role in the progress of medical science. They permit discovery of new diseases and unexpected effects (adverse or beneficial) as well as the study of mechanisms, and they play an important role in medical education. Case reports and series have a high sensitivity for detecting novelty and therefore remain one of the cornerstones of medical progress; they provide many new ideas in medicine. At the same time, good case reporting demands a clear focus to make explicit to the audience why a particular observation is important in the context of existing knowledge.
Vandenbroucke JP. In Defense of Case Reports and Case Series. Ann Intern Med. 2001;134:330–334. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-134-4-200102200-00017
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2001;134(4):330-334.
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