Copyright ©The Author(s) 2018. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Clin Cases. Mar 16, 2018; 6(3): 35-43
Published online Mar 16, 2018. doi: 10.12998/wjcc.v6.i3.35
Chinese research into severe ulcerative colitis has increased in quantity and complexity
Cheng-Xin Luo, Zhong-Hui Wen, Yu Zhen, Zhu-Jun Wang, Jing-Xi Mu, Min Zhu, Qin Ouyang, Hu Zhang
Cheng-Xin Luo, Zhong-Hui Wen, Yu Zhen, Zhu-Jun Wang, Jing-Xi Mu, Min Zhu, Qin Ouyang, Hu Zhang, Department of Gastroenterology, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, Sichuan Province, China
Author contributions: Luo CX and Wen ZH contributed equally to this article; Luo CX designed the research, performed the databases search, and drafted the article; Wen ZH designed the research, repeated the databases search, and made critical revisions to the manuscript; Zhen Y, Wang ZJ, Mu JX and Zhu M performed literature review, recorded and checked relevant information, and did statistical analyses; Ouyang Q and Zhang H supervised the study and edited the Manuscript; All of the authors approved the version of the article to be published.
Supported by Doctoral Fund of Ministry of Education of China, No. 20130181120041.
Conflict-of-interest statement: There is no conflict of interest.
PRISMA 2009 Checklist statement: The authors have read the PRISMA 2009 Checklist, and the manuscript was prepared and revised according to the PRISMA 2009 Checklist.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Correspondence to: Hu Zhang, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Gastroenterology, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, No. 37, Guo Xue Alley, Chengdu 610041, Sichuan Province, China.
Telephone: +86-28-85423387 Fax: +86-28-85423387
Received: November 23, 2017
Peer-review started: November 24, 2017
First decision: December 28, 2017
Revised: February 6, 2018
Accepted: February 28, 2018
Article in press: February 28, 2018
Published online: March 16, 2018

To investigate the current state of research output from Chinese studies into severe ulcerative colitis (SUC) using a bibliometric analysis of publications.


The contents of the Chinese periodical databases WANFANG, VIP, and China National Knowledge Infrastructure were searched for all papers regarding UC or SUC published in last the 15 years (from 2001 to 2015). The number of publications in each year was recorded to assess the temporal trends of research output. All SUC related publications were downloaded and the complexity of this research was evaluated with methods described previously. The number of patients with SUC reported each year was recorded and their clinical characteristics were analyzed using information available in the relevant papers.


There were 13499 publications regarding UC published in Chinese medical journals between 2001 and 2015, of which 201 focused on SUC. The number of publications increased rapidly with more than half of all papers being published in the most recent 5-year period. There was a significant increase in analytical studies and clinical trials over the study period (P < 0.01), with research into the management of SUC, included pharmacotherapy, nutrition support as well as surgery, predominating. Almost half (46.2%) of the observational analytical studies and clinical trials focused on Traditional Chinese Medicine, with little research on the efficacy of cyclosporin and infliximab in disease management. About 6222 patients with SUC were reported in the 201 SUC relevant papers, with a ratio of male/female of 1.38. The number of patients reported in each 5-year period significantly increased. The colectomy rate and short-term mortality rate were 7.7% and 0.8% respectively. The most commonly employed operation was total proctocolectomy with ileal pouch-anal anastomosis.


The output and complexity of research related to SUC in China increased significantly over the previous 15 years, however few of these studies focused on salvage therapy.

Keywords: Bibliometric analysis, Clinical trials, Salvage therapy, Complexity, Severe ulcerative colitis, Temporal trends, Traditional Chinese Medicine

Core tip: Severe ulcerative colitis (SUC) is a potentially life-threatening condition. Our bibliometric analysis indicates that Chinese research into severe ulcerative colitis has increased in quantity and complexity over the previous 15 years. Research into the management of SUC, especially Traditional Chinese Medicine, predominates, with little research on salvage therapy. The number of SUC patients reported in Chinese publications also increased significantly, with male patients predominating in prevalence and a lower colectomy rate than western countries.