Standing on the shoulders of Giants: A citation analysis of the paediatric congenital heart disease literature

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust,


The citation history of a published article reflects its impact on the literature over time. We conducted a comprehensive bibliometric analysis to identify the most cited papers on CHD in children.

One-hundred and ninety journals listed in Journal Citation Reports were accessed via Web of Science. Publications with 250 or more citations were identified from Science Citation Index Expanded (1900–2020), and those relating to structural CHD in children were reviewed. Articles were ranked by citation count and the 100 most cited were analysed.

The number of citations ranged from 2522 to 309 (median 431, IQR 356–518), with 35 published since 2000. All were written in English, most originated from the United States (74%), and were published in cardiovascular journals, with Circulation (28%) the most frequent. There were 86 original research articles, including 50 case series, 14 cohort studies, and 10 clinical trials. The most cited paper was by Hoffman JI and Kaplan S on the incidence of CHD. Thirteen authors had 4 or more publications in the top 100, all of whom had worked in Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, or Dallas, and the most prolific author was Newburger JW (9 articles).

Citation analysis provides a historical perspective on scientific progress by assessing the impact of individual articles. Our study highlights the dominant position of US-based researchers and journals in this field. Most of the highly cited articles remain case series, with few randomised controlled trials in CHD appearing in recent years.

Bibliographic note

Publisher Copyright: © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
JournalCardiology in the Young
Early online date12 Apr 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Apr 2021


  • CHD, citations, history