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Subspecialties Cataract

Cataract Benchmarking

Massive strides have been made in surgical techniques and intraocular lens technology yet cataracts remain the leading cause of visual impairment (especially in in developing countries).

To generate some insight into the past and future of the field, we asked the following questions:

  • Who has published the most?
  • Who has had the greatest impact?
  • Who has published the most?
  • What are the big topics being discussed?
  • Is this knowledge available online?

To provide the answers to these questions, a literature analysis was performed.  PubMed, was searched for cataract* with results limited to the last five years, in humans (for a clinical focus). The data was analyzed in Microsoft Excel 2013.


Articles in MEDLINE are indexed by Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) topics, that describe the article’s main topics. Here are the top 25 MeSHterms over the last five years of the human cataract literature.


PubMed categorizes the publication type by various categories, represented here. Clinical study represents clinical evaluations of a drug, device or technique that were not clinical trials.


Even now, in 2014, 6 percent of these articles were unavailable online, and only 16 percent of the total had their full article text available for free

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About the Author
Mark Hillen

I spent seven years as a medical writer, writing primary and review manuscripts, congress presentations and marketing materials for numerous – and mostly German – pharmaceutical companies. Prior to my adventures in medical communications, I was a Wellcome Trust PhD student at the University of Edinburgh.

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