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Macchiarini Coauthor Removed From Paper

A whistleblower asked to have his named pulled from a study led by the embattled surgeon.

Mar 7, 2016
Kerry Grens

PIXABAY, PUBLICDOMAINIMAGESKarl-Henrik Grinnemo, a surgeon at the Karolinska Institute and one of a number of colleagues who voiced concerns about the conduct of fellow surgeon Paolo Macchiarini, is no longer a coauthor on a 2011 The Lancet study led by Macchiarini that described an artificial windpipe. Grinnemo asked to be removed from the paper, and the journal complied last week (March 3).

Grinnemo’s removal from the study is the latest in a string of repercussions related to an investigation of Macchiarini’s work. Last month, the head of the Karolinska Institute, Anders Hamsten, resigned because the institution’s initial investigation concluded no wrongdoing. Hamsten said he and his colleagues were probably wrong about Macchiarini; the institute has launched another investigation into the surgeon’s work.

Others have also stepped down in connection with Macchiarini’s alleged misconduct, which involves patient consent procedures, among other things. (See Retraction Watch’s timeline for a complete picture of the fallout.)

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences declared its concerns about the 2011 Macchiarini paper in a March 5 letter to The Lancet. “Available information shows that the paper does not present the condition of the patient in a correct way,” the organization wrote. Despite the study reporting no major complications, “it is evident from biopsies and bronchoscopy data that epithelialisation of the graft was incomplete, that the patient suffered serious complications, and that he eventually died,” the organization added.

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