To the Editor:-Recently I reviewed a manuscript for Anesthesiology entitled “Differential Effects of Anesthetic Agents on Outcome from Near-complete but not Incomplete Global Ischemia in the Rat.” Subsequent to my review the manuscript was accepted for publication, and I was asked to write an editorial. The editorial view that bears my name is entitled “Anesthetic Agents and Hypothermia in Ischemic Brain Protection.” I recruited Dr. Anish Bhardwaj to assist me with this editorial. I have had the pleasure of working with Dr. Bhardwaj, a junior investigator in our laboratories, for the past three years. We have several joint publications and I have never had the occasion to question his skills or integrity as a high quality investigator. On the contrary, I have found Dr. Bhardwaj to be an extraordinarily hard-working and thoughtful investigator.
In preparation for writing this editorial, I reviewed the original and revised manuscript with Dr. Bhardwaj. I also provided him with a copy of my original critique and we discussed the direction that the editorial should pursue. Several days later Dr. Bhardwaj provided me with a first draft of the editorial. I reviewed it carefully and provided suggestions for improvement. The final version was submitted to the Anesthesiology Editorial Office several days later.
Following publication of the editorial I was informed that components of this editorial appeared to be taken directly from Dr. James E. Cottrell's 1997 Refresher Course Lecture “Brain Protection In Neurosurgery.” I had not previously read this article which was written by Dr. Cottrell, nor did I attend the lecture that was provided by Dr. Cottrell on this topic at the 1997 ASA Refresher Course series in San Diego, California.
This incident has been formally reviewed by The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Standing Committee on Discipline. After complete review of all the facts, the Committee has accepted Dr. Bhardwaj's statement, which appears in the accompanying letter.
I apologize to the Editorial Staff, the readers of Anesthesiology, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Miura et al., and Dr. James E. Cottrell for the entire event. I request that the editorial be formally retracted by Anesthesiology.
Jeffrey R. Kirsch, M.D.
Associate Professor; Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine; Johns Hopkins Medicine; 600 North Wolfe Street; Baltimore, Maryland 21287