HOWARD BYRON DICKLER, M.D.
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To the editor: In the January 1970 issue (Ann Intern Med 72:1-8, 1970) Hylen and associates report on the problem of diagnosis of aortic ball variance. The difficulty in diagnosis is demonstrated by their statistics: 39 to 40 patients suspected of ball variance came to operation. Thirty had this finding, but nine did not. Thus, 22.5% were incorrectly diagnosed. Further, at least four patients underwent reoperation who "did not have diagnostic criteria [of ball variance] as outlined in Table 2."
This seems a high rate of misdiagnosis, especially when the operative mortality (in their series) was 13%. It would be
DICKLER HB. Aortic Ball Variance. Ann Intern Med. 1970;72:756. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-72-5-756_1
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1970;72(5):756.
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