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In May 2013, the article “Dexamethasone for the Prevention of Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Palsy and Other Complications After Thyroid Surgery: A Randomized Double-blind Placebo-Controlled Trial” was published in JAMA Otolaryngology−Head & Neck Surgery.1 In April 2017, we received an allegation that the data included in this article was also included in similar articles published in other journals. The editor of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons has retracted one of these articles after an independent statistical analysis determined that “the statistical results are incorrect and the data do not support the conclusions of the article.”2
We have compared the article published in JAMA Otolaryngology−Head & Neck Surgery in 2013 with the now-retracted article published in Journal of the American College of Surgeons in 2015. The 2 articles report randomized placebo-controlled trials on interventions to prevent recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy after thyroid surgery. There is substantial overlap in the Methods, Results, and Discussion sections of these articles.
Following our evaluation, we have concluded that the scientific and ethical concerns raised may have merit and therefore require definitive explanation. We have contacted the University of L’Aquila and requested a formal investigation to evaluate the integrity of the research conducted by Dr Schietroma and colleagues to assess the validity of the reported findings.
In the interim, we publish this Expression of Concern to alert readers to the concerns about this article.
Corresponding Author: Jay F. Piccirillo, MD, Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, 660 S Euclid Ave, St Louis, MO 63110 (email@example.com).
Published Online: July 21, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2017.1641
Piccirillo JF, Bauchner H. Expression of Concern: Schietroma M, Cecilia EM, Carlei F, Sista F, De Santis G, Lancione L, Amicucci G. Dexamethasone for the Prevention of Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Palsy and Other Complications After Thyroid Surgery: A Randomized Double-blind Placebo-Controlled Trial. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2013;139(5):471-478. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2013.2821. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2017;143(9):869. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2017.1641
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