Classification and citation analysis of the 100 top-cited articles on adult spinal deformity since 2011: A bibliometric analysis

Po Chun Liu, Yi Lu, Hsi Hsien Lin, Yu Cheng Yao, Shih Tien Wang, Ming Chau Chang, Tsair Wei Chien, Po Hsin Chou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Background: Studies of the 100 most-cited articles are reported for many subjects. However, none has analyzed the article characteristics associated with high citation frequency. This study aims to (1) graphically depict characteristics of the 100 top-cited articles addressing adult spinal deformity (ASD), (2) diagram the association between articles according to subject and major topic medical subject headings (MeSHs), and (3) investigate whether major topic MeSH correlates with article citation frequency. Methods: The 100 top-cited ASD publications since 2011 were retrieved using a PubMed Central search on May 6, 2020. Using titles and abstracts, eight subject categories were identified: surgery, conservative treatment, normal values in spinopelvic alignment, review, cervical alignment, classification, compensatory mechanism, and spine-hip relationship. Sankey diagrams were used to organize the information. Network analysis was performed according to article subject and major topic MeSHs. Pearson's r was used to determine whether the weighted number of citations correlates with major topic MeSHs and the number of citations. Results: The average number of citations per article was 34.8 (range, 19-156). The most represented country was USA (n = 51). The most productive and highly cited journal was Spine (Phila Pa 1976) (n = 34; average, 38.2 citations per article). The most frequent subject categories and major topic MeSHs were "surgery" (n = 53) and "scoliosis" (weighted count, 9.8), while articles with the subject "compensatory" had the highest average number of citations (64.7). The most highly cited article, by Dr. F. Schwab in 2012, had 156 citations. Network analysis revealed the relationships between these articles according to major topic MeSHs. The weighted number of citations according to major topic MeSHs correlated significantly with article citation frequency (Pearson's r, 0.57; p < 0.001). Conclusion: Multiple characteristics of the 100 top-cited ASD articles are presented in diagrams to guide evidence-based clinical decision-making in ASD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-408
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Chinese Medical Association
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2022


  • Bibliometrics
  • Journal article
  • Social network analysis
  • Spinal curvatures
  • Spondylosis


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