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Woolf Graham M. M.D.; Townsend, Marie B.A.; Guyatt, Gordon M.D.
Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: December 1987

We describe a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial with spiramycin in a single patient with aquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and a severe secretory diarrhea caused by cryptosporidium. Spiramycin, a potentially harmful antibiotic, had no clinical or microbiological effect in this patient. The application of the single patient (N of 1) trial to common clinical problems is a simple way to analyze the value of different therapeutic approaches. The time-consuming, expensive, multi-patient trial with ultimate extrapolation to the individual patient can be avoided. Single-patient trials can influence management and improve patient care and have potentially wide use in patients with gastrointestinal disease.

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