To the Editor.
—The recent review by Dr Karpfand colleagues1 of the effect of alendronate on the incidence of nonvertebral fractures in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis presents a very clean and powerful analysis. However, the review provides no details of the search strategy or the study selection criteria, and there is no evidence that a review protocol was written a priori. Such reporting (and performance) defects have been previously noted to be widespread in published meta-analyses,2 but I would have hoped that the recent evolution of the science of systematic reviews3 and the adoption of the CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) philosophy and principles4 might have prevented the publication of what appears to be important and well done research without these necessary details.
Ross SD. Meta-analysis of Prevention of Nonvertebral Fractures by Alendronate. JAMA. 1997;278(8):631. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550080041021