Authors should not include information which can lead to identification of the patient including patients' names, initials, or hospital numbers, in written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent/ guardian) gives written, informed consent for publication.
Complete anonymity is difficult to achieve; however, informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of patients is inadequate protection of anonymity.
When informed consent has been obtained, it should be indicated in the published article and a copy of the 'Patient Informed Consent Form' for each patient should be included along with article submission.
Authors should provide written verification that any study participant who is identifiable has been shown the final manuscript to be published.
Masked Study Participants- If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, such as in genetic malformations, authors should provide written assurance to the editors that alterations do not distort scientific meaning.