A Case of Plagiarism Raises Blood Pressures 1

Plagiarism: it’s enough to raise your blood pressure.

An article in Korean Circulation Journal appears to plagiarize from a similar article in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC). In 2009, Franz Messerli, a well-known hypertension expert at St Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York, and Gurusher Panjrath, at Johns Hopkins Hospital, published a Viewpoint and Commentary in JACC: The J-Curve Between Blood Pressure and Coronary Artery Disease or Essential Hypertension: Exactly How Essential?  Less than two years later, two Korean physicians, Chang Gyu Park and Ju Young Lee, published an article with striking similarities to the JACC article: The Significance of the J-Curve in Hypertension and Coronary Artery Diseases.

The Korean article includes some content not included in or published after the JACC article, but a large proportion of the article represents obvious plagiarism. The Korean article fails to even cite the JACC article from which it clearly derives so much of its content, language, and organization. However, it should be noted that the Korean article does not resort to word-for-word copying of the original.

Here are some similarities in the heading and text found in just one paragraph in the papers:

Heading from JACC:

Pathophysiologic Consideration: Coronary Flow and BP

Heading from Korean Circulation Journal:

Mechanism of the J-Curve and the Pathophysiologic Approach

First sentence from JACC:

The coronary circulation is unique in that most of coronary blood flow to the left ventricle (LV) occurs in diastole.

First sentence from Korean Circulation Journal:

Most of the coronary circulation occurs during diastole.

Second sentence from JACC:

During systole, the contracting LV myocardium compresses intramyocardial vessels and obstructs its own blood flow.

Second sentence from Korean Circulation Journal:

During systole, the left ventricular (LV) myocardium contracts and compresses the intramyocardial vessels to impede its blood flow.

Last sentence in paragraph from JACC:

When coronary perfusion pressure is lowered to 40 to 50 mm Hg, the so-called pressure at 0 flow, diastolic blood flow in the coronaries ceases.

Last sentence in paragraph from Korean Circulation Journal:

When the coronary perfusion pressure is lowered to 40-50 mmHg, the blood flow due to coronary perfusion pressure theoretically approaches 0 with exclusion of the LV diastolic pressure.

A careful examination of the papers reveals many similar instances of obvious copying. In addition, the Korean authors use many of the same headings, figures, and references used in the JACC paper.

When the Korean paper was brought to his attention, Messerli attempted to contact the Korean authors and editors.  He also informed Tony DeMaria, the editor of JACC, about the situation. CardioBrief has requested comments from DeMaria, Ho Joong Youn,the editor of Korean Circulation Journal, and the two authors of the Korean paper.

Editor’s note: Marilyn Mann, a well-known blogger and medical watchdog, performed the detailed comparison of the two articles on which this post relies. Once again, I am extremely grateful for her assistance.