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Int J Cardiol. 1983 Oct;4(3):357-64.

The case report. I. Guidelines for preparation.


A case report, if prepared properly, is a valuable educational device to describe an unusual clinical syndrome, association, reaction, or treatment. If a case advances basic understanding of a disorder, increases clinical skill, or suggests useful research, it is worthy of publication. Conciseness is paramount. The description of the case should contain only pertinent positive and negative findings. Irrelevant material or excessive detail can obscure the essence of a report and repel editors and readers. The discussion should emphasize the salient features of the case, show their relation to previous knowledge, interpret their significance, draw conclusions or generalizations about future cases when warranted by the evidence presented, or suggest further possible studies. Information withheld by the patient and unjustified speculation can nullify the value of a case report. Illustrations add visual appeal and enhance the educational value of a report. Tables and graphs should reduce any statistical data to readily interpretable form. All visual supplements should be simple, compact, and self-contained. Appropriate documentation is desirable, but only essential citations need be included, and the author should have carefully reviewed and verified all references used. Begin with a clear title and end with an informative Summary. A useful case report is factual, concise, logically organized, clearly presented, and readable. The three primary principles to remember: (1) Make sure the case warrants publication. (2) Include only pertinent information. (3) Be concise.

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