Intended for healthcare professionals


Distinguishing the signal in the noise

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 23 September 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:0

As Nicholas Peters says in his editorial this week, the word “cure” is not widely applicable in medicine—and that's exemplified by most of this week's BMJ, where few outcomes are as clear as a cure and where it's often hard to distinguish the signal from the noise.

The exception seems to be catheter ablation for cardiac arrhythmias. Peters (p 716) cites a prospective study of 1050 patients undergoing catheter ablation which produced a 95% cure rate. He claims the procedure offers an alternative for younger patients to long term …

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