Despite St. Jude Protest, Medical Journal Defends Article

St. Jude Medical wants a recently published article retracted, calling it a "biased analysis." But Douglas Zipes, managing editor of the online journal that published the article, said that's "not going to happen."

Despite St. Jude Medical's request that a recent article by Minneapolis cardiologist Robert Houser be retracted, the online journal that published it, Heart Rhythm Journal, has reportedly said it will not remove the article.

Little Canada-based St. Jude issued a press release earlier this week claiming that the article, which analyzed deaths tied to defibrillator leads made by it and Fridley-based rival Medtronic, contains “substantial errors” and a “biased analysis.”

Douglas Zipes, managing editor of the journal and a professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine, on Tuesday told the Star Tribune that Hauser's work had been extensively peer-reviewed before it was accepted for publication. Asked about a retraction, he said, “It's not going to happen.”

The article analyzed deaths attributed to St. Jude's Riata and Medtronic's Quattro Secure leads. Leads are wires that connect defibrillators to the heart.

In a press release, St. Jude said its research, which used the same database as Hauser, found 377 reports of deaths involving Medtronic's Quattro Secure leads-significantly more than the 62 reported in the article. The company said it also found 74 deaths related to its products, compared to Hauser's 71.

According to the Star Tribune, Hauser has defended his conclusions, and Medtronic told the Minneapolis newspaper that it has looked at the data and concluded that Hauser's findings about the Quattro lead appear to be accurate.

To learn more about the article and the controversy surrounding it, read the full Star Tribune story here.