A case report is a detailed report by a physician of an unusual disease in a single person.
The population is unknown. We select patient (for case report) or patients (for case series) with disease of interest. Assessment is done to describe clinical findings. Analysis is done by radio graphs, lab reports, etc. Interpretation includes special features of this disease.
“Normal plasma cholesterol in an 88-year-old man who eats 25 eggs a day” [Kern J, NEJM 1991; 324:896–899]12
The important features include:
• No comparison group!
• Unusual/dramatic outcome (Phocomelia in off springs of mothers receiving Thalidomide)
• Sufficient for hypothesis generation (Need more studies)
• To present as complete a picture as possible about potential exposures faced by the individual
• For identifying new health hazards
• It results in formulation of hypothesis about causal factors that might account for the observed outcome
• Act as catalyst for future study
Case reports do not provide sufficient control to allow for generalization of conclusions.