Background: An infantile hemangioma (IH) is a type of benign vascular tumor that affects babies. They usually begin during the first four weeks of life, grow until about five months of life, and then shrink in size and disappear over the next few years. Complications may include pain, bleeding, ulcer formation, heart failure, or disfigurement. Numerous articles on IH have been published in literature, sharing expanded management strategies. Nevertheless, definite treatment guideline for IH is inconclusive due to differences in heterogenous presentations, varied severity and treatment strategy among countries. This study aimed to apply the medical subject headings (MeSH terms) to predict the number of article citations using 100 top-cited IH articles (T100IHs) and dissect their characteristics including the influential authors and affiliated counties since 2010.
Methods: By searching the PubMed Central® (PMC) database, the T100IHs since 2010 were downloaded. Citation analysis was performed to compare the dominant countries and authors using social network analysis (SNA) and visual representations. MeSH terms were clustered by SNA when referring their citations in articles. The prediction effect was assessed based on its correlation coefficients (CC) between impact factors(IF) of MeSH terms and the T100IHs.
Results: We observed that (1) the top three productive countries and journals in T100IHs were the US (49%), China (10%), France (8%); and Pediatrics (10%), Br J Dermatol (6%), Pediatr Dermatol (4%); (2) the most cited article (PMID=25693013 with 145 citations) was authored by Christine Léauté-Labrèze from France in 2015; (3) the most cited MeSH term was pharmacology with IF equal to 42.46 in T100IHs. MeSH terms were evident in prediction power on the number of article citations (correlation coefficient = 0.46; t = 5.11; p<0.01, n = 100).
Conclusion: The breakthrough was made by making the citation prediction on T100IHs. MeSH terms are evident in predicting article citations using SNA and IF calculation approaches that can be applied to future research, and is not limited to the IH topic as we did in this study.