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Editor's Correspondence
October 28, 2002

The Arterial Inflammation Hypothesis—Reply

Arch Intern Med. 2002;162(19):2249-2251. doi:

In reply

Our recent commentary was sharply focused and its goal limited: to use the criteria developed by the US Preventive Services Task Force to evaluate the effectiveness of hs-CRP testing in routine clinical practice. Drs Bhatt and Topol do not address the substantial deficiencies in predictive value and repeatability of hs-CRP testing that we identified and only marginally confront the uncertain likelihood of beneficial intervention. The need for such rigorous assessment has been reemphasized in a recent critique that underscores the potential harm of inappropriate screening tests and the importance of predictive value and diagnostic accuracy.1 Ineffective testing is not merely useless, but may be financially, psychologically, and sometimes even physically harmful.

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