Study objectives: Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) has been a rapidly growing and broadly used modality in recent decades. The purpose of this study was to determine how POCUS is incorporated into clinical medicine by analyzing trends of use in the published literature.
Methods: POCUS-related publications were retrieved from the Web of Science (WoS) database. The search results were ranked according to the number of times an article was cited during three time frames and average annual number of citations. Of the top 100 most cited publications in the four rankings, information regarding the publication journal, publication year, first author's nationality, field of POCUS application, and number of times the article was cited was recorded for trend analysis.
Results: A total of 7860 POCUS-related publications were retrieved, and publications related to POCUS increased from 8 in 1990 to 754 in 2016. The top 148 cited publications from the four ranking groups were included in this study. Trauma was the leading application field in which POCUS was studied prior to 2001. After 2004, thorax, cardiovascular, and procedure-guidance were the leading fields in POCUS research. >79% (118/148) of the top-cited publications were conducted by authors in the United States, Italy, and France. The majority of publications were published in critical care medicine and emergency medicine journals.
Conclusions: In recent years, publications relating to POCUS have increased. POCUS-related research has mainly been performed in thorax, cardiovascular, and procedure-guidance ultrasonography fields, replacing trauma as the major field in which POCUS was previously studied.
Keywords: Citation; Critical care medicine; Emergency medicine; POCUS; Point-of-care ultrasound; Ultrasonography.
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