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October 3, 2007

Clinical Trial Registries

JAMA. 2007;298(13):1514-1515. doi:10.1001/jama.298.13.1514-a

To the Editor: Dr Zarin and colleagues1 discussed the problems and challenges faced by trial registries associated with variations across trials in naming of the same molecule or intervention. A complementary issue they did not address is the duplicate naming of randomized clinical trials themselves. The recent proliferation of randomized controlled trials has made acronym overlap all too common. There have been at least 16 HEART trials, 16 IMPACT trials, and 13 SMART Trials.28 When naming trials, investigators naturally are drawn to pleasant and meaningful acronyms.9 However, duplicate trial names, especially among trials in related fields, have the potential to promote confusion among researchers, practitioners, and the public.

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