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Case Reports: How to Guide: Writing & Publishing: Getting Started

Helpful tools that guide you through writing a case report .

What is a Case Report

A case report is a detailed report of the symptoms, signs, diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up of an individual patient. The most important aspect of a case report is that the case is unique, rare or interesting and that other medical professionals will learn something from it.

"Case reports and case series have their own role in the progress of medical science. They permit discovery of new diseases and unexpected effects (adverse or beneficial) as well as the study of mechanisms, and they play an important role in medical education. Case reports and series have a high sensitivity for detecting novelty and therefore remain one of the cornerstones of medical progress; they provide many new ideas in medicine. At the same time, good case reporting demands a clear focus to make explicit to the audience why a particular observation is important in the context of existing knowledge."

Vandenbroucke JP. . In Defense of Case Reports and Case Series. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2001;134(4):330-334. 

Articles of Interest

CARE Guidelines

The CARE guidelines (for CAse REports) were developed by an international group of experts to support an increase in the accuracy, transparency, and usefulness of case reports. The CARE guidelines for case reports help authors reduce risk of bias, increase transparency, and provide early signals of what works, for which patients, and under which circumstances.

The CARE guidelines help increase the completeness, accuracy, and transparency of published case reports.

SCARE Guidelines

The SCARE (Surgical CAse REports) Guidelines were first published in 2016 and were last updated in 2018. They provide a structure for reporting surgical case reports and are used and endorsed by authors, journal editors and reviewers, in order to increase robustness and transparency in reporting surgical cases. 

To cite the guidelines:
​Agha RA, Franchi T, Sohrabi C, Mathew G, for the SCARE Group. The SCARE 2020 Guideline: Updating Consensus Surgical CAse REport (SCARE) Guidelines, International Journal of Surgery 2020;84:226-230.