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Top medical journal retracts papers by disgraced trachea surgeon

The Lancet has withdrawn articles by Paolo Macchiarini after a Karolinska Institute investigation found him responsible for misconduct.

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The prestigious medical journal The Lancet has retracted two articles co-authored by disgraced thoracic surgeon Paolo Macchiarini, after an investigation by his former institute found him responsible for scientific misconduct.

The publications, one a research paper published in 2011 and the other a review published in 2012, were retracted on 7 July and relate to an experimental transplant technique that involved implanting artificial windpipes seeded with stem cells into a patient. The surgery, carried out in three people between 2011 and 2013, failed.

An investigation released on 25 June by the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, where Macchiarini was a visiting faculty member, found that he and six co-authors were responsible for misconduct in six studies, two of which are the Lancet papers. The institute found that the articles contained “fabricated and distorted descriptions of the patients’ conditions before and after the operations”, as well as other inaccuracies. The president of the institute, Ole Petter Ottersen, requested that all six studies be retracted.

doi: 10.1038/d41586-018-05687-9
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