Quality of Reporting in Human Aortic Tissue Research – A Systematic Review



Chim, Ya-Hua, Caamaño-Gutiérrez, Eva, Birla, Rashmi, Madine, Jillian ORCID: 0000-0001-9963-5871, Field, Mark, Akhtar, Riaz ORCID: 0000-0002-7963-6874 and Davies, Hannah A
(2019) Quality of Reporting in Human Aortic Tissue Research – A Systematic Review. Artery Research, 25 (1-2). pp. 3-10.

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Abstract

Ex vivo human tissue is a valuable research resource. However, if vital methodological information such as anatomical location, tissue processing procedures, or donor characteristics are not reported in scientific literature to a high standard, studies utilising ex vivo human tissue can be difficult to replicate. Furthermore, data analysis and interpretation based on these studies can be challenging. In this systematic review, we focus on the reported use of human aortic tissue in research. The human aorta is a complex tissue, with embryological, biochemical and biomechanical variations along its length, which alter with age, and differ between genders and ethnicities. The aorta therefore serves as an excellent case study for examining the importance of high quality and robust reporting of methodology when utilising human tissue samples, for reliable interpretation and reproducibility. In this systematic review, we sought to critically analyse scientific papers published between 1980 and 2017 which utilised human aortic tissue to determine whether the methodological information provided would be sufficient for replication, comparison with other studies and interpretation. Eight databases (Springerlink, ScienceDirect, PMC, PLoS, JSTOR, Pubmed, Web of Science, Scopus) were mined for articles that contained the search term 'human aortic tissue' from January 1980 to August 2017. Following review, 143 full-text articles were selected, data extracted, tabulated and analysed. The review highlighted several areas where reporting of human aortic tissue use was insufficient for replication and thorough data interpretation. The use of control tissue was often poorly explained and in many cases, omitted completely. Sample size was largely difficult to calculate and 30% of studies did not provide this information. Age/gender information was absent in 30% of studies. Tissue storage and handling information was present in 78%, and 75% of studies gave information about statistical analyses but few gave enough information for replication. Overall the quality of reporting in many studies was deemed to be of a low standard for replication and reliable interpretation of the reported findings. Here we propose five simple recommendations for the reporting of human tissue with the primary aim of improving reproducibility and transparency in the sector, avoiding bias and maximising output.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: aortic tissue, reproducibility, reporting
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2019 08:39
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 00:12
DOI: 10.2991/artres.k.191106.003
Related URLs:
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3066224