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Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2014 Dec;12(12):1383-6. doi: 10.1586/14779072.2015.982096.

Contemporary roles of registries in clinical cardiology: when do we need randomized trials?

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Department of Mathematics, Università degli Studi di Milano, via Saldini 50, 20133 Milano, Italy.


Clinical registries are established as tools for auditing clinical standards and benchmarking quality improvement initiatives. They also have an emerging role (as electronic health records) in cardiovascular research and, in particular, the conduct of RCTs. While the RCT is accepted as the most robust experimental design, observational data from clinical registries has become increasingly valuable for RCTs. Data from clinical registries may be used to augment results from RCTs, identify patients for recruitment and as an alternative when randomization is not practically possible or ethically desirable. Here the authors appraise the advantages and disadvantages of both methodologies, with the aim of clarifying when their joint use may be successful.


clinical cardiology; clinical practice; clinical registries; evidence based medicine; observational data; randomized controlled trials; routinely collected data

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