Intended for healthcare professionals


A symphony of maladies

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 06 February 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b378

This article by Sarah Bache and Frank Edenborough in our Christmas issue 2008 (BMJ 2008;337:a2646, doi:10.1136/bmj.a2646) referred to cello scrotum. It has now emerged that the reference that they provided for the first description of this condition (a letter published in the BMJ in 1974) was a hoax. The author of the 1974 letter (a non-doctor) and his then wife (a doctor who was involved in writing the letter) confessed to the hoax in a rapid response posted on in December 2008 ( and published as a letter in January 2009 (BMJ 2009;338:b288, doi:10.1136/bmj.b288). We have not yet been able to verify whether they are right to conclude that the letter describing guitar nipple (Curtis P. Guitar nipple. BMJ 1974;2:226), which prompted their letter on cello scrotum, was also a hoax.


Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b378