Global trends in anesthetic research over the past decade: a bibliometric analysis

Ann Transl Med. 2022 May;10(10):607. doi: 10.21037/atm-22-1599.


Background: Anesthesia is the reversible inhibition of function of the central and/or peripheral nervous system using drugs or other means to ensure a successful operation. This inhibition is mainly manifested as a loss of sensation, especially pain.

Methods: Bibliometric analysis was used to identify the characteristics, hotspots, and frontiers of global anesthesiology scientific output during the past 10 years. Literatures between 2011 and 2020 in the Web of Science Core Collection (WoSCC) were reviewed and analyzed. VOSviewer was used to visualize trends and hotspots in anesthesia research.

Results: A total of 16,213 publications were retrieved and results showed that there was no significant correlation between the number of articles published each year and the year of publication. England had the most published papers, the greatest number of citations (NC), and the highest h-index. The University of London and the British Journal of Anesthesia were the richest affiliate and journal, respectively. The publication written by Heidenreich et al. had the highest global citation score (GCS).

Conclusions: Our research found that global publications on anesthesia have raised. Recently, "surgery", "management", "propofol", and "analgesia" appeared most frequently, which were active areas of research. In the future research, pain management, pediatric anesthesia, safety, dexmedetomidine, et al. will be the hotspot and mainstream trend of research.

Keywords: Bibliometrics; VOSviewer; anesthesia; hotspots; trends.