Article Abstract

A scientometric analysis on hepatocellular carcinoma magnetic resonance imaging research from 2008 to 2017

Authors: Da-Wei Yang, Xiao-Pei Wang, Zhen-Chang Wang, Zheng-Han Yang, Xue-Feng Bian


Background: With the development of new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques, an increasing number of articles have been published regarding hepatocellular carcinoma magnetic resonance imaging (HCCMRI) in the past decade. However, few studies have statistically analyzed these published articles. In this study, we aim to systematically evaluate the scientific outcomes of HCCMRI research and explore the research hotspots from 2008 to 2017.
Methods: The included articles regarding HCCMRI research from 2008 to 2017 were downloaded from the Web of Science Core Collection and verified by two experienced radiologists. Excel 2016 was used to analyze the literature data, including the publication years and journals. CiteSpace V was used to perform co-occurrence analyses for authors, countries/regions and institutions and to generate the related collaboration network maps. Reference co-citation analysis (RCA) and burst keyword detection were also performed using CiteSpace V to explore the research hotspots in the past decade.
Results: A total of 835 HCCMRI articles published from 2008 to 2017 were identified. Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging published the most articles (79 publications, 9.46%). Extensive cooperating relationship were observed among countries/regions and among authors. South Korea had the most publications (199 publications, 21.82%), followed by the United States of America (USA) (190 publications, 20.83%), Japan (162 publications, 17.76%), and the People’s Republic of China (148 publications, 16.23%). Among the top 10 co-cited authors, Bruix J (398 citations) was ranked first, followed by Llovet JM (235 citations), Kim YK (170 citations) and Forner A (152 citations). According to the RCA, ten major clusters were explored over the last decade; “LI-RADS data system” and “microvascular invasion” (MVI) were the two most recent clusters. Forty-seven burst keywords with the highest citation strength were detected over time. Of these keywords, “microvascular invasion” had the highest strength in the last three years. The LI-RADS has been constantly updated with the latest edition released in July 2018. However, the LI-RADS still has limitations in identifying certain categories of lesions by conceptual and non-quantitative probabilistic methods. Plenty of questions still need to be further answered such as the difference of diagnostic efficiency of each major/ancillary imaging features. Preoperative prediction of MVI of HCC is very important to therapeutic decision-making. Some parameters of Gd-EOB-DTPA-enhanced MRI were found to be useful in prediction of MVI, however, with a high specificity but a very low sensitivity. Comprehensive predictive model incorporating both imaging and clinical variables may be the more preferable in prediction of MVI of HCC.
Conclusions: HCCMRI-related publications displayed a gradually increasing trend from 2008 to 2017. The USA has a central position in collaboration with other countries/regions, while South Korea contributed the most in the number of publications. Of the ten major clusters identified in the RCA, the two most recent clusters were “LI-RADS data system” and “microvascular invasion”, indicative of the current HCCMRI research hotspots.