Some weeks ago, I reported on a letter to the editor of Thrombosis Research on the question whether D-Dimer indeed does improve DVT risk prediction in stroke patients.
I was going to write a whole story on how one should not use a personal blog to continue the scientific debate. As you can guess, I ended up writing a full paragraph where I did this anyway. So I deleted that paragraph and I am going to do a thing that requires some action from you. I am just going to leave you with the links to the letters and let you decide whether the issues we bring up, but also the corresponding rebuttal of the authors, help to interpret the results from the the original publication.
At the department of Clinical Epidemiology of the LUMC we have a continuous course/journal in which we read epi-literature and books in a nice little group. The group, called Capita Selecta, has a nice website which can be found here. sometime ago we’ve read an article that proposed to include dormant Mendelian Randomisation studies in RCT, to figure out the causal pathways of a treatment for chronic diseases. This could be most helpful when there is a discrepancy between the expected effect and the observed effect. During the discussion of this article we did not agree with the authors for several reasons. We, AGCB/IP/myself, decided to write a LTTE with these points. The journal was nice enough to publish our concerns, together with a response by the authors of the original article. The PDF can be found via the links below which will take you to the website of the American Journal of Epidemiology. The PDF of our LTTE can also be found at my mendeley profile.
letter to the editor
response by the author
Recently, Biere-Safi et al published the results from their analyses of the PHARMO database describing the relation between statin use and the recurrence of pulmonary embolism (pubmed). This article was topic of a heated debate on our department: is it really possible that statin use halves the risk of recurrence in this patient group? During this discussion we found some issues that could led to an overestimation of the underlying true protective effect. We described these issues in a letter to the editor which has been accepted as an e-letter. Some journals use e-letters to facilitate a faster and more vivid debate after a publication, but unfortunately, these e-letters are only to be found at the website of the publisher and not for example in Web Of Scienc or Pubmed. This could mean that these critical parts of the scientific debate could have a smaller reach, which is a pity.
Nonetheless, the text of our e-letter is to be found on the website of the Eur Heart J, or via my Mendeley account.