Source: NEJM -

COMMENT: This is one of the most complex graphs I have found. The background shows the distribution of patients clinical status respect to age. Typical courses of the disease for 5 hypothetical patients are visualized as paths on this background.

QUESTIONS: How general is this technique? What communicative goals can it support?. . . . .

Figure 1: The Typical Course of Sickle Cell Anemia in Five Hypothetical Patients.

Legend: The area of low morbidity includes patients with an average of less than one episode of pain ("crisis") per year requiring hospitalization. The area of moderate-to-high morbidity includes patients with increasing clinical symptoms. The death rates were based on survival data; the area of chronic organ failure initially includes 10 percent of the patients who survive to the age of 10 and then increases each decade to include an additional 5 percent of the surviving population. Patients 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 are indistinguishable with respect to their disease in infancy, but their clinical courses diverge, as described in the text.