Is Tau dispensable?

Left ventricular diastolic time constant, Tau is the most established index to describe diastolic function. A Harvard method of Tau was invented by Dr JD Thomas has been dominant non-invasive Tau measurement for more than two decades. Now, Tau is dead clinically. Only when the logically flawed celebrity method is objectively reassessed and discarded, can Tau be given a chance. A new method is dawning and promising…

A Brief History of Tau with Links You Might Need!

A Brief History of Tau

1976, Tau was born in John Hopkins.
1992, the first non-invasive try, Harvard.
1992, the first formula, with four assumptions, Harvard.
1993, another non-invasive try with decent data, Mayo Clinic.
1995, a similar strategy applied to AI patients, Japan.
1995, I published a MR based formula with one assumption.
1997, the Harvard formula was validated in Cleveland.
2005, Langer presented a non-zero asymptote model.
2008, I improved my MR based formulas, without assumption.
2008, I did a similar deduction for AI based Tau.
2008, Chen developed program for my formulas, free download.
2008, my poster in ASE 19th Annual Scientific Sessions.
2009, my poster in CSE forum.
2009, DF guideline (ASE) recommended Harvard formula.
2009, I gave my opinion about the guideline recommendation.
2009, "Response to Bai" from guideline writing group. It motivated me to create this Blog.
2010, Dr Wang and me presented general Tau.
2011-11-29, I gave a talk in National Capital Echo Round (Ottawa)
2016-03-29, I gave a talk at the Heart Institute, the North Hospital (Shenyang, China)
2016-04-01, I gave a talk at the Cardiac Function Dept., the 1st Clinical College, Chinese University of Medicine. (Shenyang, China)
2016, Symmetry inspired by the approach of Tau.
2017, Calculation of LAP (based on my formulas) got a Chinese Natural Science Founding.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

A letter to Dr JD Thomas during ASE2021

Hopefully, you won’t get another letter during ASE2022.

1.   Why we are repetitively asking to retract your Tau formula?

a.    It is not because the formula is theoretically incorrect. 


On the contrary, bold assumptions have to be encouraged and different opinions have to be tolerated in a healthy research atmosphere. 

b.    It is not even because of fabrication. 


Verification and application of this formula has to be fabricated, nobody can get “good” data by unintentional mistakes. Fair to say, motivated reasoning is a big problem in research papers. Just think about thousands of papers were published over a decade after Dr Anversa “found” stem cells in the cardiac muscle. A recent example is Dr Raoult promoting hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin to treat COVID-19, tons of papers were pouring out shamefully, all peer-reviewed. We didn’t ask you to retract your paper for similar reasons as long as it was not harmful. 

c.    We ask the retraction of your Tau formula because it is a lion on the road. 

Almost all the reasonable Tau papers were rejected by the mainstream journals due to your dominant Tau formula. 


2.   Let’s elaborate how harmful your Tau formula is

a.    Tau is died in daily clinic

For more than two decades, your Tau formula is a dominant method. It has been “verified” both experimentally and clinically, even was recommended in the first ASE diastolic function guideline. It was removed from the second one after my argument. Long story short, Tau, as the best index to describe diastolic function is died in daily clinic; people have to beat around the bush whenever diastolic function assessment is needed. As a celebrity researcher, is that what you want?

b.    Useful Tau measurement was blocked by you or your followers

Shortly after you published your Tau formula, I realized the theory is wrong. Unfortunately, my English was not good enough to write an English paper. In 2008, I formally published the theory of non-invasive measurement of Tau in patients with MR or AI. Other research groups verified them experimentally. From there, I got the idea of “general Tau” and “symmetry of cardiac function assessment”. Two postgraduate students completed their projects based on some ideas from the “symmetry”… All those papers were rejected in mainstream journals due to your celebrity Tau formula. To my knowledge, Tau calculation is the trickiest in Echocardiography. We cannot blame the general editors. You are a Tau expert, with the strongest mathematics background among all Echocardiographers. I tried several times to explain our Tau theory, never got a reply. Remember years ago in Boston in another ASE session we met? You told me you know my publication but had no time to talk, you handed me a business card and told me to email. You were right; that moment several people were trying hard to talk to you, like a superstar! I emailed you another several times, never got a reply. Time to show people the truth


When politicians can debate fiercely, politics wins, when scientists will only appreciate each other, science suffers. Thanks to the current unhealthy research atmosphere, you might still hold your Tau formula for a while. 


Sincerely, you cannot hold it forever. 


A respectful guy told me this: 
“we know Dr Thomas’ Tau formula is not working, but he is a big name, show some respect, don’t seek the retraction”.

Here is the dilemma. In MGH where the formula was born, none of the researchers have used it in their own projects. However, in Dr Allan Klein’s new book, Diastology, the formula was included again. How many researchers can outsmart Dr Allan Klein in terms of diastology?


Please address this issue for the great cause of Echo, for other researchers, and for you. 

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