Author + information
- Emmanouil S. Brilakis, MD, PhD⁎ (, )
- Christopher Lichtenwalter, MD,
- James A. de Lemos, MD,
- Michele Roesle, RN,
- Owen Obel, MD,
- Donald Haagen, RCIS,
- Bilal Saeed, MD,
- Chiranjeevi Gadiparthi, MD,
- Joseph K. Bissett, MD,
- Rajesh Sachdeva, MD,
- Vassilios V. Voudris, MD, PhD,
- Panagiotis Karyofillis, MD,
- Biswajit Kar, MD,
- James Rossen, MD,
- Panayotis Fasseas, MD,
- Peter Berger, MD and
- Subhash Banerjee, MD
- ↵⁎Dallas VA Medical Center (111A), 4500 South Lancaster Road, Dallas, Texas 75216
Acronyms are an important component of clinical trials and may serve several roles, such as facilitating reference to the trial, creating enthusiasm about the trial, and promoting recruitment. SOS is a brief and memorable acronym that is particularly well suited for trials, as it invokes a call for help to which many patients might respond. Indeed, SOS is a widely used trial acronym: a search for SOS in the clinical trials website on July 13, 2009, retrieved 28 results, ranging from the “Stent or Surgery” trial (NCT00475449) to “Systems of Support to Increase Colon Cancer Screening and Follow-up” (NCT00697047) to “Stroke Oxygen study” (ISRCTN52416964) or the “SAFE OR SORRY?” trial (NCT00365430).
In 1987, the Swedish Obese Subjects study was initiated, and over the ensuing 2 decades it critically evaluated the effects of bariatric surgery on cardiovascular risk factors and quality of life (1).
In 1995, the Stent or Surgery trial was initiated, and subsequently compared coronary artery bypass surgery with stent-assisted percutaneous coronary intervention in patients with multivessel coronary artery disease. The study's main report was published in 2002 (2), and according to the clinical trials website, the study has been completed since 2007.
In 2005, the Stenting Of Saphenous vein grafts trial was initiated to compare a paclitaxel-eluting with a similar bare-metal stent in patients undergoing saphenous vein graft stenting. The study's primary results were published in 2009 (3).
Although it was never our intention to infringe on the Stent or Surgery trial's acronym, we apologize to the Stent or Surgery investigators if they feel that a copyright infringement occurred. We would like to highlight, however, that our study was done in a different era, for a different reason, and in a different patient population.
Would adding additional trial regulations, such as “expiration dates for trial names” or additional oversight of the authors and editors improve the trial result reporting process? Should all the ongoing SOS trials change their names? And should future trials be prohibited from using acronyms from trials previously used? Until these questions are answered, we can only hope that the dissimilar nature of the trials serves to limit any confusion that might result from repeated use of the same acronym.
Please note: The SOS trial was funded by a Veteran Affairs VISN-17 Startup Awardand by a Clark R. Gregg fund, Harris Methodist Foundation Grantto Dr. Brilakis.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation