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May 31, 1976

Arrhythmias During Acute Pericarditis-Reply

JAMA. 1976;235(22):2390. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260480012012

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In Reply.—  Although Dr Wehrmacher's experience leads him to different conclusions, I am delighted that such a distinguished cardiologist will be stimulated to accumulate "further statistical studies." Indeed, a properly designed, prospective study is what is needed to confirm or refute my study. We might in fact be dealing with different clinical material (though mine had some of "everything") and be in the classic position of the blind men and the elephant. I should point out that my data do not "refute" Dr James' work (and Friedberg did no formal study); James' report is on dead people, most of whom had had serious heart disease or had had cardiac surgery. In such a group, one anticipates both pericarditis and arrhythmias; moreover, most people dying of anything in hospitals have arrhythmias. So James' report has little to do with common clinical experience and nothing to do with my series in JAMA