Guidelines to authors in Writing an effective Medical Case Report (MCR)
Medical Case reports (or the case study or the case history) disseminate clinical practices, examines clinical scenarios, and illustrates a diagnostic or therapeutic problem experienced by one or several patients. MCRs can be from any area of medicine, nursing, dentistry, and veterinary science.
So, what is the
Medical Case report?
Clinical case reporting is communicating to
the medical fraternity about an unusual or previously unknown condition, a rare
presentation or a new complication of a known disease, or a new approach for
curing a common disease. It can also be
said as a detailed report of the symptoms, signs, diagnosis, treatment, and
follow-up of an individual patient.
CCRs are the first-line of evidence of medical literature and the cornerstones of medical progress to provide new ideas in medicine. It is a rapid short communication between busy clinicians short of time to do large scale research. Some of the MCRs contain an extensive review of the relevant literature on the topic.
What is the structure
of the Medical case report (MCR)?
The structure of MCR depends on the journal it has to be
published, and some may require a literature review also. But generally,
the following are required for structuring the MCR:
- Introduction (background)
- Case presentation
- Patient perspective (optional and unique to JMCR, BMCRM, and all other BMC Clinical Journals journals)
- List of Abbreviations (BMC Journals, Journal of Medical Case reports)
- Authors Information
- Cover Letter
Why should a Medical
case report be published?
Many reputed and renowned journals publish MCRs for the
following among other reasons:
- A clinical case which illustrates the
appropriate use of an important clinical guideline or systematic review
- A new and unexpected association between diseases or symptoms
- An unexpected new observation found during the treatment of a
- A clinical case illustrating an important best
practice teaching message
- An adverse effect or any finding that sheds light on the
possible pathogenesis of a disease
- Rare and unique features of a disease
- Variations of anatomical structures
- Unique therapeutic approaches
- A common disease presenting in a different and uncommon way
What are the key
elements to be incorporated into a CCR?
The following are the key elements to be included
in CCR for its successful publication in reputed journals
- The given title should precisely
reflect the case with a list of the full names, institutional address and email
addresses for all authors (e.g. “end the title with”….a case report” or …two
case reports” or “… a case series”)
Should be short and sweet, not exceeding 350 words. The abstract should be
structured into Background,an introduction,case presentation,
brief details of patients,a brief conclusion.
The introduction or background
Serves as the sales pitch for the rest of the manuscript. Therefore, it should
present a clear, concise and precise message of the case, including the
disorder, and progression and an explanation. Remember, the case should involve
a new or unusual or previously unknown health issues
Should present all relevant details including demographic information, medical
history of the patient, symptoms and signs, any tests that were carried out.
The case should be presented in a chronological order, starting with the
primary compliant followed by physical examination, along with pertinent
investigation. It should be structured properly structured as per the guidelines
of the journal
Should evaluate the patient case for accuracy, uniqueness, and validity and
compare and contrast the case report with the published literature
be short and concise with clear take home message.
used should be appropriate and correct
Researchers, clinicians, regulators and patients can explore Cases database http://www.casesdatabase.com/, a continually updated (repository 27,915 peer-reviewed medical case reports from 250 journals), freely accessible database of thousands of medical case reports from multiple publishers including PubMed Central, British Medical Journals, and Springer. MCRs could be the steppingstones of researches and could bring hope to patients of many diseases.
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