Retrospective Study
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2015. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Radiol. Apr 28, 2015; 7(4): 79-86
Published online Apr 28, 2015. doi: 10.4329/wjr.v7.i4.79
100 classic papers of interventional radiology: A citation analysis
Matthew T Crockett, Ronan FJ Browne, Peter J MacMahon, Leo Lawler
Matthew T Crockett, Peter J MacMahon, Leo Lawler, Department of Radiology, Mater Misercordiae University Hospital, Dublin 7, Ireland
Ronan FJ Browne, Department of Radiology, Adelaide and Meath Hospital, Dublin 24, Ireland
Author contributions: Crockett MT designed study, acquisited data and wrote up the manuscript; Browne RFJ and Lawler L designed study and assisted with write up and editing; MacMahon PJ assisted with write up and editing.
Ethics approval: Due to the nature of this study no ethical approval or institutional board review was required.
Informed consent: Due to the nature of this study no informed consent was required.
Conflict-of-interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Data sharing: Not applicable for this study.
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: Dr. Matthew T Crockett, Department of Radiology, Mater Misercordiae University Hospital, Eccles Street, Dublin 7, Ireland.
Telephone: +353-8-63669360 Fax: +353-1-8032970
Received: November 10, 2014
Peer-review started: November 11, 2014
First decision: January 8, 2015
Revised: February 18, 2015
Accepted: March 16, 2015
Article in press: March 18, 2015
Published online: April 28, 2015


AIM: To define the 100 citation classic papers of interventional radiology.

METHODS: Using the database of Journal Citation Reports the 40 highest impact factor radiology journals were chosen. From these journals the 100 most cited interventional radiology papers were chosen and analysed.

RESULTS: The top paper received 2497 citations and the 100th paper 200 citations. The average number of citations was 320. Dates of publication ranged from 1953 - 2005. Most papers originated in the United States (n = 67) followed by Italy (n = 20) and France (n = 10). Harvard University (n = 18) and Osped Civile (n = 11) were the most prolific institutions. Ten journals produced all of the top 100 papers with “Radiology” and “AJR” making up the majority. SN Goldberg and T Livraghi were the most prolific authors. Nearly two thirds of the papers (n = 61) were published after 1990.

CONCLUSION: This analysis identifies many of the landmark interventional radiology papers and provides a fascinating insight into the changing discourse within the field. It also identifies topics, authors and institutions which have impacted greatly on the specialty.

Key Words: Interventional radiology, Citation classic, Radiology, Citation, Citation analysis, Classic papers

Core tip: Interventional radiology is a young and rapidly evolving specialty. This study defined and analysed the 100 most cited interventional radiology papers identifying much of the landmark interventional radiology research and providing a fascinating insight into the changing discourse within the field. It also identified the topics, authors and institutions which have impacted greatly on the specialty.

Citation: Crockett MT, Browne RF, MacMahon PJ, Lawler L. 100 classic papers of interventional radiology: A citation analysis. World J Radiol 2015; 7(4): 79-86

A citation is the intellectual acknowledgement of a published or unpublished source in order to substantiate fact. Whilst the intellectual acknowledgement that one paper gives to another is known as a reference, the acknowledgement that one paper receives from another is known as a citation[1]. The field of citation analysis uses the citation rate of a paper as a surrogate marker of a paper’s recognition and impact within its biomedical field, the more citations that a paper receives, the greater that paper’s impact and recognition[2]. The most cited papers within a specialty can be defined as that specialty’s classic papers, with the 100 most cited papers representing the “best of” of that specialty[3]. Recent studies have analysed the highly cited papers in other specialties and produced “best of” lists of the top 100 classic papers[4-6]. From these studies it is clearly evident that highly cited works in a particular field often represent the landmark papers, seminal advances and technical innovations of that specialty. However there are also limitations in using the citation rate of a paper alone to define that paper’s scientific quality and impact. Whether a paper is cited by another author can depend upon various factors and biases some of which can lead to citations which are not wholly appropriate[7]. Despite these limitations, citation analysis remains a well recognised method of objectively identifying classic papers within a specialty.

The purpose of this study is to identify and analyse the 100 most cited papers within the specialty of interventional radiology - the 100 citation classics. This will allow the topics, authors and institutions which have impacted greatly on this rapidly evolving specialty to be reviewed whilst also critically evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of citation analysis as a method of defining a paper’s quality and impact within its specialty.


Using the database of Journal Citation Reports, 40 radiology journals were chosen for analysis from the subcategory of “Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging” (Table 1). The subcategory of “Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging” covers a broad range of journals and therefore excluded from our selection were those journals dealing purely with nuclear medicine, those dealing with basic imaging science and physics as well as radiotherapy journals.

Table 1 Radiology journals analysed in order of 5 year impact factor.
RankJournal5 yr impact factor
3JACC Cardiovascular Imaging5.528
4Circulation Cardiovascular Imaging4.757
5Investigative Radiology4.328
6Magnetic Resonance in Medicine3.885
8American Journal of Neuroradiology3.413
9European Radiology3.384
10American Journal of Roentgenology2.979
11Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging2.97
12European Journal of Radiology2.673
14Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology2.433
15Radiologic Clinics of North America2.404
16British Journal of Radiology2.354
17Academic Radiology2.201
18Magnetic Resonance Imaging2.144
19Neuroimaging Clinics of North America2.109
20Korean Journal of Radiology1.863
21Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology1.792
22Clinical Radiology1.754
23Abdominal Imaging1.716
24International Journal of Cardiovascular Imaging1.682
25Journal of Thoracic Imaging1.592
26Journal of Neuroimaging1.586
27Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography1.551
28Paediatric Radiology1.535
29Radiologica Medica1.448
30Skeletal Radiology1.443
31Acta Radiologica1.312
32Seminars in Musculoskeletal Radiology1.201
33Journal of Neuroradiology1.148
34Seminars in Ultrasound, CT and MRI1.005
35Clinical Imaging0.869
36Seminars in Roentgenology0.823
37Current Medical Imaging Reviews0.776
38Canadian Association of Radiologists Journal0.665
39Journal de Radiologie0.51
40Der Radiologe0.454
41Interventional Neuroradiology0.173
42Clinical Neuroradiology-
43Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology-
44Seminars in Interventional Radiology-

These 40 journals were then analysed using the Science Citation Index of the Institute of Scientific Information and the 100 most cited interventional radiology papers were chosen. Each of the papers was categorised by body system involved, interventional procedure performed, country of origin, institution of origin, author of paper and year of publication.

Statistical analysis

No biostatistics were used in this study.


Table 2 lists the 100 most cited interventional radiology papers in descending order according to the number of citations received.

Table 2 The 100 most cited interventional radiology papers of all time.
RankPaperNo. of citations
1Seldinger SI. “Catheter replacement of the needle in percutaneous arteriography; a new technique,”Acta Radiologica 39, no. 5 (May 1953): 368-3762497
2Judkins MP. “Selective coronary arteriography. I. A percutaneous transfemoral technic,”Radiology 89, no. 5 (November 1967): 815-8241071
3Livraghi T, Goldberg SN, Lazzaroni S, Meloni F, Solbiati L, Gazelle GS. “Small hepatocellular carcinoma: treatment with radio-frequency ablation versus ethanol injection”. Radiology 210, no. 3 (March 1999): 655-661735
4Yamada R, Sato M, Kawabata M, Nakatsuka H, Nakamura K, Takashima S. “Hepatic artery embolization in 120 patients with unresectable hepatoma,”Radiology 148, no. 2 (August 1983): 397-401625
5Livraghi T, Giorgio A, Marin G, Salmi A, de Sio I, Bolondi L, Pompili M, Brunello F, Lazzaroni S, Torzilli G. “Hepatocellular carcinoma and cirrhosis in 746 patients: long-term results of percutaneous ethanol injection,”Radiology 197, no. 1 (October 1995): 101-108612
6Jensen ME, Evans AJ, Mathis JM, Kallmes DF, Cloft HJ, Dion JE. “Percutaneous polymethylmethacrylate vertebroplasty in the treatment of osteoporotic vertebral body compression fractures: technical aspects,”AJNR 18, no. 10 (December 1997): 1897-1904529
7Livraghi T, Goldberg SN, Lazzaroni S, Meloni F, Ierace T, Solbiati L, Gazelle GS. “Hepatocellular carcinoma: radio-frequency ablation of medium and large lesions,”Radiology 214, no. 3 (March 2000): 761-768516
8Rossi S, Di Stasi M, Buscarini E, Quaretti P, Garbagnati F, Squassante L, Paties CT, Silverman DE, Buscarini L. “Percutaneous RF interstitial thermal ablation in the treatment of hepatic cancer,”AJR 167, no. 3 (September 1996): 759-768497
9Parker SH, Burbank F, Jackman RJ, Aucreman CJ, Cardenosa G, Cink TM, Coscia JL Jr, Eklund GW, Evans WP 3rd, Garver PR “Percutaneous large-core breast biopsy: a multi-institutional study,”Radiology 193, no. 2 (November 1994): 359-364461
10Hessel SJ, Adams DF, Abrams HL. “Complications of angiography,”Radiology 138, no. 2 (February 1981): 273-281448
11H Deramond, Depriester C, Galibert P, Le Gars D. “Percutaneous vertebroplasty with polymethylmethacrylate. Technique, indications, and results,”Radiologic Clinics of North America 36, no. 3 (May 1998): 533-546432
12L Solbiati, Livraghi T, Goldberg SN, Ierace T, Meloni F, Dellanoce M, Cova L, Halpern EF, Gazelle GS. “Percutaneous radio-frequency ablation of hepatic metastases from colorectal cancer: long-term results in 117 patients,”Radiology 221, no. 1 (October 2001): 159-166424
13Livraghi T, Solbiati L, Meloni MF, Gazelle GS, Halpern EF, Goldberg SN. “Treatment of focal liver tumors with percutaneous radio-frequency ablation: complications encountered in a multicenter study,”Radiology 226, no. 2 (February 2003): 441-451421
14Cotton A, Dewatre F, Cortet B, Assaker R, Leblond D, Duquesnoy B, Chastanet P, Clarisse J. “Percutaneous vertebroplasty for osteolytic metastases and myeloma: effects of the percentage of lesion filling and the leakage of methyl methacrylate at clinical follow-up,”Radiology 200, no. 2 (August 1996): 525-530417
15LaBerge JM, Ring EJ, Gordon RL, Lake JR, Doherty MM, Somberg KA, Roberts JP, Ascher NL. “Creation of transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunts with the wallstent endoprosthesis: results in 100 patients,”Radiology 187, no. 2 (May 1993): 413-420410
16Solbiati L, Goldberg SN, Ierace T, Livraghi T, Meloni F, Dellanoce M, Sironi S, Gazelle GS. “Hepatic metastases: percutaneous radio-frequency ablation with cooled-tip electrodes,”Radiology 205, no. 2 (November 1997): 367-373402
17Riccardo RA, Allgaier HP, Cioni D, Olschewski M, Deibert P, Crocetti L, Frings H, Laubenberger J, Zuber I, Blum HE, Bartolozzi C. “Small hepatocellular carcinoma in cirrhosis: randomized comparison of radio-frequency thermal ablation versus percutaneous ethanol injection,”Radiology 228, no. 1 (July 2003): 235-240396
18Judkins MP. “Percutaneous transfemoral selective coronary arteriography,”Radiologic Clinics of North America 6, no. 3 (December 1968): 467-492392
19Rossi S, Buscarini E, Garbagnati F, Di Stasi M, Quaretti P, Rago M, Zangrandi A, Andreola S, Silverman D, Buscarini L. “Percutaneous treatment of small hepatic tumors by an expandable RF needle electrode,”AJR 170, no. 4 (April 1998): 1015-1022387
20Gianturco C, Anderson JH, Wallace S. “Mechanical devices for arterial occlusion,”The American Journal of Roentgenology, Radium Therapy, and Nuclear Medicine 124, no. 3 (July 1975): 428-435384
21Solbiati L, Ierace T, Goldberg SN, Sironi S, Livraghi T, Fiocca R, Servadio G, Rizzatto G, Mueller PR, Del Maschio A, Gazelle GS. “Percutaneous US-guided radio-frequency tissue ablation of liver metastases: treatment and follow-up in 16 patients,”Radiology 202, no. 1 (January 1997): 195-203378
22Weill A, Chiras J, Simon JM, Rose M, Sola-Martinez T, Enkaoua E. “Spinal metastases: indications for and results of percutaneous injection of acrylic surgical cement,”Radiology 199, no. 1 (April 1996): 241-247356
23Castaneda-Zuniga WR, Formanek A, Tadavarthy M, Vlodaver Z, Edwards JE, Zollikofer C, Amplatz K. “The mechanism of balloon angioplasty,”Radiology 135, no. 3 (June 1980): 565-571354
24Goldberg SN, Gazelle GS, Mueller PR. “Thermal ablation therapy for focal malignancy: a unified approach to underlying principles, techniques, and diagnostic imaging guidance,”AJR 174, no. 2 (February 2000): 323-331349
25Waugh JR, Sacharias N. “Arteriographic complications in the DSA era,”Radiology 182, no. 1 (January 1992): 243-246332
26Heiserman JE, Dean BL, Hodak JA, Flom RA, Bird CR, Drayer BP, Fram EK. “Neurologic complications of cerebral angiography,”AJNR 15, no. 8 (September 1994): 1401-1407; discussion 1408-1411321
27Gazelle GS, Goldberg SN, Solbiati L, Livraghi T. “Tumor ablation with radio-frequency energy,”Radiology 217, no. 3 (December 2000): 633-646321
28Livraghi T, Goldberg SN, Monti F, Bizzini A, Lazzaroni S, Meloni F, Pellicanò S, Solbiati L, Gazelle GS. “Saline-enhanced radio-frequency tissue ablation in the treatment of liver metastases,”Radiology 202, no. 1 (January 1997): 205-210311
29Smith EH. “Complications of percutaneous abdominal fine-needle biopsy. Review,”Radiology 178, no. 1 (January 1991): 253-258308
30Parker SH. “Stereotactic breast biopsy with a biopsy gun,”Radiology 176, no. 3 (September 1990): 741-747306
31Dodd GD, Soulen MC, Kane RA, Livraghi T, Lees WR, Yamashita Y, Gillams AR, Karahan OI, Rhim H “Minimally invasive treatment of malignant hepatic tumors: at the threshold of a major breakthrough,”Radiographics 20, no. 1 (February 2000): 9-27304
32Livraghi T, Festi D, Monti F, Salmi A, Vettori C. “US-guided percutaneous alcohol injection of small hepatic and abdominal tumors,”Radiology 161, no. 2 (November 1986): 309-312295
33Lang EK. “A survey of the complications of percutaneous retrograde arteriography: Seldinger Technic”, Radiology 81 (August 1963): 257-263292
34Nakamura H, Hashimoto T, Oi H, Sawada S. “Transcatheter oily chemoembolization of hepatocellular carcinoma,”Radiology 170, no. 3 Pt 1 (March 1989): 783-786290
35Rösch J, Dotter CT, Brown MJ. “Selective arterial embolization. A new method for control of acute gastrointestinal bleeding,”Radiology 102, no. 2 (February 1972): 303-306285
36Shiina S, Tagawa K, Niwa Y, Unuma T, Komatsu Y, Yoshiura K, Hamada E, Takahashi M, Shiratori Y,Terano A. “Percutaneous ethanol injection therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma: results in 146 patients,”AJR 160, no. 5 (May 1993): 1023-1028283
37Theron JG, Payelle GG, Coskun O, Huet HF, Guimaraens L. “Carotid artery stenosis: treatment with protected balloon angioplasty and stent placement,”Radiology 201, no. 3 (December 1996): 627-636283
38Chilcote WA, Modic MT, Pavlicek WA, Little JR, Furlan AJ, Duchesneau PM, Weinstein MA. “Digital subtraction angiography of the carotid arteries: a comparative study in 100 patients,”Radiology 139, no. 2 (May 1981): 287-295268
39Parker SH, Jobe WE, Dennis MA, Stavros AT, Johnson KK, Yakes WF, Truell JE, Price JG, Kortz AB, Clark DG. US-guided automated large-core breast biopsy, Radiology 187, no. 2 (May 1993): 507-511268
40McNamara TO, Fischer JR. “Thrombolysis of peripheral arterial and graft occlusions: improved results using high-dose urokinase,”AJR 144, no. 4 (April 1985): 769-775266
41Goodwin SC, McLucas B, Lee M, Chen G, Perrella R, Vedantham S, Muir S, Lai A, Sayre JW, DeLeon M. “Uterine artery embolization for the treatment of uterine leiomyomata midterm results,”JVIR 10, no. 9 (October 1999): 1159-1165260
42Grüntzig A, Kumpe DA. “Technique of percutaneous transluminal angioplasty with the Grüntzig ballon catheter,”AJR 132, no. 4 (April 1979): 547-552259
43Rossi S, Garbagnati F, Lencioni R, Allgaier HP, Marchianò A, Fornari F, Quaretti P, Tolla GD, Ambrosi C,Mazzaferro V, Blum HE, Bartolozzi C. “Percutaneous radio-frequency thermal ablation of nonresectable hepatocellular carcinoma after occlusion of tumor blood supply,”Radiology 217, no. 1 (October 2000): 119-126257
44Goldstein HM, Wallace S, Anderson JH, Bree RL, Gianturco C. “Transcatheter occlusion of abdominal tumors,”Radiology 120, no. 3 (September 1976): 539-545257
45Cotton A, Boutry N, Cortet B, Assaker R, Demondion X, Leblond D, Chastanet P, Duquesnoy B,Deramond H. “Percutaneous vertebroplasty: state of the art,”Radiographics 18, no. 2 (April 1998): 311-320257
46vanSonnenberg E, Mueller PR, Ferrucci Jr JT. “Percutaneous drainage of 250 abdominal abscesses and fluid collections. Part I: Results, failures, and complications,”Radiology 151, no. 2 (May 1984): 337-341256
47Krepel VM, van Andel GJ, van Erp WF, Breslau PJ. “Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty of the femoropopliteal artery: initial and long-term results,”Radiology 156, no. 2 (August 1985): 325-328255
48Goldberg SN, Gazelle GS, Solbiati L, Rittman WJ, Mueller PR. “Radiofrequency tissue ablation: increased lesion diameter with a perfusion electrode,”Academic Radiology 3, no. 8 (August 1996): 636-644254
49Mewissen MW, Seabrook GR, Meissner MH, Cynamon J, Labropoulos N, Haughton SH. “Catheter-directed thrombolysis for lower extremity deep venous thrombosis: report of a national multicenter registry,”Radiology 211, no. 1 (April 1999): 39-49254
50Baum S, Nusbaum M. “The control of gastrointestinal hemorrhage by selective mesenteric arterial infusion of vasopressin,”Radiology 98, no. 3 (March 1971): 497-505253
51White Jr RI, Lynch-Nyhan A, Terry P, Buescher PC, Farmlett EJ, Charnas L, Shuman K, Kim W, Kinnison M, Mitchell SE. “Pulmonary arteriovenous malformations: techniques and long-term outcome of embolotherapy,”Radiology 169, no. 3 (December 1988): 663-669251
52Goldberg SN, Solbiati L, Hahn PF, Cosman E, Conrad JE, Fogle R, Gazelle GS. “Large-volume tissue ablation with radio frequency by using a clustered, internally cooled electrode technique: laboratory and clinical experience in liver metastases,”Radiology 209, no. 2 (November 1998): 371-379251
53Chuang VP, Wallace S. “Hepatic artery embolization in the treatment of hepatic neoplasms,”Radiology 140, no. 1 (July 1981): 51-58249
54Goldberg SN, Hahn PF, Tanabe KK, Mueller PR, Schima W, Athanasoulis CA, Compton CC, Solbiati L,Gazelle GS. “Percutaneous radiofrequency tissue ablation: does perfusion-mediated tissue cooling limit coagulation necrosis?,”JVIR 9, no. 1 Pt 1 (February 1998): 101-111249
55McAffe JG. “A survey of complications of abdominal aortography,”Radiology 68, no. 6 (June 1957): 825-838248
56Johnston KW. “Femoral and popliteal arteries: reanalysis of results of balloon angioplasty,”Radiology 183, no. 3 (June 1992): 767-771248
57Willinsky RA, Taylor SM, TerBrugge K, Farb RI, Tomlinson G, Montanera W. “Neurologic complications of cerebral angiography: prospective analysis of 2,899 procedures and review of the literature,”Radiology 227, no. 2 (May 2003): 522-528248
58Dupuy DE, Zagoria RJ, Akerley W, Mayo-Smith WW, Kavanagh PV, Safran H. “Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation of malignancies in the lung,”AJR 174, no. 1 (January 2000): 57-59245
59Vogl TJ, Müller PK, Hammerstingl R, Weinhold N, Mack MG, Philipp C, Deimling M, Beuthan J, Pegios W, Riess H, et al. “Malignant liver tumors treated with MR imaging-guided laser-induced thermotherapy: technique and prospective results,”Radiology 196, no. 1 (July 1995): 257-265244
60Becker GJ, Katzen BT, Dake MD. “Noncoronary angioplasty,”Radiology 170, no. 3 Pt 2 (March 1989): 921-940241
61Ferrucci Jr JT, Wittenberg J, Mueller PR, Simeone JF, Harbin WP, Kirkpatrick RH, Taft PD.“Diagnosis of abdominal malignancy by radiologic fine-needle aspiration biopsy,”AJR 134, no. 2 (February 1980): 323-330239
62Min RJ, Khilnani N, Zimmet SE. “Endovenous laser treatment of saphenous vein reflux: long-term results,”JVIR 14, no. 8 (August 2003): 991-996238
63Gerzof SG, Robbins AH, Birkett DH, Johnson WC, Pugatch RD, Vincent ME. “Percutaneous catheter drainage of abdominal abscesses guided by ultrasound and computed tomography,”AJR 133, no. 1 (July 1979): 1-8237
64Haaga JR, Alfidi RJ. “Precise biopsy localization by computer tomography,”Radiology 118, no. 3 (March 1976): 603-607236
65Lencioni R, Cioni D, Crocetti L, Franchini C, Pina CD, Lera J, Bartolozzi C. “Early-stage hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with cirrhosis: long-term results of percutaneous image-guided radiofrequency ablation,”Radiology 234, no. 3 (March 2005): 961-967233
66Mueller PR, van Sonnenberg E, Ferrucci Jr JT. “Percutaneous biliary drainage: technical and catheter-related problems in 200 procedures,”AJR 138, no. 1 (January 1982): 17-23232
67de Baere T, Elias D, Dromain C, Din MG, Kuoch V, Ducreux M, Boige V, Lassau N, Marteau V, Lasser P,Roche A. “Radiofrequency ablation of 100 hepatic metastases with a mean follow-up of more than 1 year,”AJR 175, no. 6 (December 2000): 1619-1625232
68Ferrucci Jr JT, Mueller PR, Harbin WP. “Percutaneous transhepatic biliary drainage: technique, results, and applications,”Radiology 135, no. 1 (April 1980): 1-13231
69Khouri NF, Stitik FP, Erozan YS, Gupta PK, Kim WS, Scott WW Jr, Hamper UM, Mann RB, Eggleston JC,Baker RR. “Transthoracic needle aspiration biopsy of benign and malignant lung lesions,”AJR 144, no. 2 (February 1985): 281-288230
70Meaney TF, Weinstein MA, Buonocore E, Pavlicek W, Borkowski GP, Gallagher JH, Sufka B, MacIntyre WJ “Digital subtraction angiography of the human cardiovascular system,”AJR 135, no. 6 (December 1980): 1153-1160229
71Padovani B, Kasriel O, Brunner P, Peretti-Viton P. “Pulmonary embolism caused by acrylic cement: a rare complication of percutaneous vertebroplasty,”AJNR 20, no. 3 (March 1999): 375-377229
72Palmaz JC, Laborde JC, Rivera FJ, Encarnacion CE, Lutz JD, Moss JG. “Stenting of the iliac arteries with the Palmaz stent: experience from a multicenter trial”Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology 15, no. 5 (October 1992): 291-297228
73Matsui O, Kadoya M, Yoshikawa J, Gabata T, Arai K, Demachi H, Miyayama S, Takashima T, Unoura M, Kogayashi K. “Small hepatocellular carcinoma: treatment with subsegmental transcatheter arterial embolization,”Radiology 188, no. 1 (July 1993): 79-83228
74Elvecrog EL, Lechner MC, Nelson MT. “Nonpalpable breast lesions: correlation of stereotaxic large-core needle biopsy and surgical biopsy results,”Radiology 188, no. 2 (August 1993): 453-455228
75Burbank F. “Stereotactic breast biopsy of atypical ductal hyperplasia and ductal carcinoma in situ lesions: improved accuracy with directional, vacuum-assisted biopsy,”Radiology 202, no. 3 (March 1997): 843-847228
76Molnar W, Stockum AE. “Relief of obstructive jaundice through percutaneous transhepatic catheter--a new therapeutic method,” The American Journal of Roentgenology, Radium Therapy, and Nuclear Medicine 122, no. 2 (October 1974): 356-367227
77Rémy J, Arnaud A, Fardou H, Giraud R, Voisin C. “Treatment of hemoptysis by embolization of bronchial arteries,”Radiology 122, no. 1 (January 1977): 33-37226
78Gangi A, Kastler BA, Dietemann JL. “Percutaneous vertebroplasty guided by a combination of CT and fluoroscopy,”AJNR 15, no. 1 (January 1994): 83-86226
79Haaga JR, Alfidi RJ, Havrilla TR, Cooperman AM, Seidelmann FE, Reich NE, Weinstein AJ, Meaney TF. “CT detection and aspiration of abdominal abscesses,”AJR 128, no. 3 (March 1977): 465-474225
80Earnest F 4th, Forbes G, Sandok BA, Piepgras DG, Faust RJ, Ilstrup DM, Arndt LJ. “Complications of cerebral angiography: prospective assessment of risk,”AJR 142, no. 2 (February 1984): 247-253225
81Amin Z, Donald JJ, Masters A, Kant R, Steger AC, Bown SG, Lees WR. “Hepatic metastases: interstitial laser photocoagulation with real-time US monitoring and dynamic CT evaluation of treatment,”Radiology 187, no. 2 (May 1993): 339-347223
82Mills SR, Jackson DC, Older RA, Heaston DK, Moore AV. “The incidence, etiologies, and avoidance of complications of pulmonary angiography in a large series,”Radiology 136, no. 2 (August 1980): 295-299222
83vanSonnenberg E, Ferrucci JT Jr, Mueller PR, Wittenberg J, Simeone JF. “Percutaneous drainage of abscesses and fluid collections: technique, results, and applications,”Radiology 142, no. 1 (January 1982): 1-10221
84Richter GM, Noeldge G, Palmaz JC, Roessle M, Slegerstetter V, Franke M, Gerok W, Wenz W, Farthman E. “Transjugular intrahepatic portacaval stent shunt: preliminary clinical results,”Radiology 174, no. 3 Pt 2 (March 1990): 1027-1030219
85Zeumer H, Freitag HJ, Zanella F, Thie A, Arning C. “Local intra-arterial fibrinolytic therapy in patients with stroke: urokinase versus recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (r-TPA),”Neuroradiology 35, no. 2 (1993): 159-162219
86Westcott JL. “Direct percutaneous needle aspiration of localized pulmonary lesions: result in 422 patients,”Radiology 137, no. 1 Pt 1 (October 1980): 31-35216
87Cognard C, Weill A, Spelle L, Piotin M, Castaings L, Rey A, Moret J. “Long-term angiographic follow-up of 169 intracranial berry aneurysms occluded with detachable coils,”Radiology 212, no. 2 (August 1999): 348-356216
88Cammà C, Schepis F, Orlando A, Albanese M, Shahied L, Trevisani F, Andreone P, Craxì A, Cottone M. “Transarterial chemoembolization for unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma: meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials,”Radiology 224, no. 1 (July 2002): 47-54215
89Goodwin SC, Vedantham S, McLucas B, Forno AE, Perrella R. “Preliminary experience with uterine artery embolization for uterine fibroids,”JVIR 8, no. 4 (August 1997): 517-526211
90Goldberg SN, Gazelle GS, Dawson SL, Rittman WJ, Mueller PR, Rosenthal DI. “Tissue ablation with radiofrequency: effect of probe size, gauge, duration, and temperature on lesion volume,”Academic Radiology 2, no. 5 (May 1995): 399-404208
91McGhana JP, Dodd GD, 3rd, “Radiofrequency ablation of the liver: current status,”AJR 176, no. 1 (January 2001): 3-16207
92Mani RL, Eisenberg RL, McDonald EJ Jr, Pollock JA, Mani JR. “Complications of catheter cerebral arteriography: analysis of 5,000 procedures. I. Criteria and incidence,”AJR 131, no. 5 (November 1978): 861-865206
93Katzen BT, van Breda A. “Low dose streptokinase in the treatment of arterial occlusions,”AJR 136, no. 6 (June 1981): 1171-1178206
94Goldberg, Grassi CJ, Cardella JF, Charboneau JW, Dodd GD 3rd, Dupuy DE, Gervais D, Gillams AR,Kane RA, Lee FT Jr, Livraghi T, McGahan J, Phillips DA, Rhim H, Silverman SG “Image-guided tumor ablation: standardization of terminology and reporting criteria,”Radiology 235, no. 3 (June 2005): 728-739205
95Gervais DA, McGovern FJ, Arellano RS, McDougal WS, Mueller PR. “Renal cell carcinoma: clinical experience and technical success with radio-frequency ablation of 42 tumors,”Radiology 226, no. 2 (February 2003): 417-424204
96Bookstein JJ, Goldstein HM. “Successful management of postbiopsy arteriovenous fistula with selective arterial embolization,”Radiology 109, no. 3 (December 1973): 535-536203
97Jackman RJ, Nowels KW, Rodriguez-Soto J, Marzoni FA Jr, Finkelstein SI, Shepard MJ. “Stereotactic, automated, large-core needle biopsy of nonpalpable breast lesions: false-negative and histologic underestimation rates after long-term follow-up,”Radiology 210, no. 3 (March 1999): 799-805202
98Dupuy DE, Goldberg SN. “Image-guided radiofrequency tumor ablation: challenges and opportunities--part II,”JVIR 12, no. 10 (October 2001): 1135-1148202
99Ferris EJ, McCowan TC, Carver DK, McFarland DR. “Percutaneous inferior vena caval filters: follow-up of seven designs in 320 patients,”Radiology 188, no. 3 (September 1993): 851-856200
100Worthington-Kirsch RL, Popky GL, Hutchins Jr FL. “Uterine arterial embolization for the management of leiomyomas: quality-of-life assessment and clinical response,”Radiology 208, no. 3 (September 1998): 625-629200

Table 3 below summarises some of the analysed characteristics of the 100 most cited papers in inter ventional radiology.

Table 3 Summary of characteristics of 100 most cited papers.
Year of publicationCountry of originInstitution of originJournal of publicationNamed author
YearNo. pubs.CountryNo. pubsInstitutionNo pubs.JournalNo.AuthorNo.
1950’s2United States67Harvard Uni.18Radiology62Goldberg SN15
1960’s3Italy20Osped Civile11AJR20Gazelle GS13
1970’s12France10Mass.Gen.9JVIR5Livraghi T12
1980’s22Germany5Osped Gen.8AJNR4Mueller PR11
1990’s43Japan5Beth Israel8Academic Radiology2Solbiati L11
2000 -18Canada2Univ Texas6Radiographics2Ferrucci FT5

The top paper received 2497 citations whilst the 100th paper in the list was cited 200 times. Seven papers received 500 citations or more with the average number of citations being 320.

The oldest paper is Seldinger’s 1953 seminal work on the technique of percutaneous arteriography and this paper also occupies first place in this top 100 list. The most recent paper is published in 2005 by Goldberg et al[8]. This is one of Goldberg’s six 1st name papers in this list whilst he is also a named author on another nine papers. Nine persons were named authors on four or more papers.

The papers were published between 1953 and 2005. Two thirds of the papers (n = 61) were published after 1990 with just 5 originating before 1970.

The 100 papers originated from just seven countries. The vast majority of the papers (n = 67) originated in the United States followed by Italy (n = 20) and France (n = 10).

Eleven institutions produced more than two publications in the top 100. Harvard University (United States) tops the list with 18 publications followed by Osped Civile (Italy) with 11 publications. Several multicentre studies spanned more than one country or institution. For papers published from these studies all countries or institutions involved have been credited.

The most cited papers in interventional radiology were published in 10 specialist radiology journals with nearly two thirds published in Radiology (n = 62) and a fifth (n = 20) published in the American Journal of Roentgenology. No papers originated from the high impact factor general medical journals analysed.

The interventional technique of radiofrequency ablation is well represented when the papers are broken down by procedure, with 29 entries in the top 100. This is followed by angiography and embolization with 14 papers a piece and subsequently image guided biopsy with 11 papers. The hepatobiliary system is the most studied body system with 30 papers focusing upon it and this is followed by 20 papers focusing upon the vascular system. Although categorising these papers by body system studied or interventional procedure performed gives a useful overall picture of the studies included in this list, it is obvious that the two categories are interlinked. Closer inspection reveals 10 papers in the top 20, and 26 papers in the top 100 focusing upon liver metastases. Most look specifically at ablation or embolization of these metastases and this goes some way to explaining why the hepatobiliary system and radiofrequency ablation are so highly represented.


This list of the 100 citation classic papers of inter ventional radiology provides a fascinating insight into the history and development of the specialty over the last 60 years. It identifies many of the topics, authors and institutions which have contributed most heavily to the field and includes many landmark papers.

Many authors featuring prominently here might be considered to be the forerunners in the development interventional radiology as a specialty. The impact of authors such as Seldinger, Judkins, Gianturco, vanSonnenburg and Mueller cannot be underestimated and techniques and equipment bear their names to this day.

Despite the prominence of these authors, it must be noted that inclusion in this list of the 100 citation classics of interventional radiology does not necessarily mean that the cited authors contributed to the development of a particular technique. Goodwin’s paper which is in 89th place in this top 100 list is a good example. This paper dealt with preliminary results of uterine artery embolization, but it was not him who introduced this technique, but Ravina et al[9] 1995. It is also surprising that important developments such as the pioneering work of Serbinenko and Djindjian in the development of intracerebral embolization, Porstman’s occlusion technique of the Ductus arteriosus, and Volodos work in the development of the first aortic endograft are not covered by this citation analysis. This is likely due to the fact that their papers were published outside of the specialist radiology journals and therefore are not captured by this study. This flaw is covered later in the discussion section.

It is interesting to see the changing topics covered by papers over the last 60 years which mirror the history of interventional radiology. The very early papers, representing the birth of the specialty, focus almost solely on cardiac and vascular interventional techniques. As time progresses the variety of interventions rises to include neurological and musculoskeletal procedures and there is also increasing focus on techniques dealing with malignant metastatic disease. This represents interventional radiology branching out into oncology where it now plays an important role within the multidisciplinary structure. Some other techniques, such as coronary angiography, began as the role of the interventional radiologist but have now been subsumed by other specialties and consequently recent papers concerning these techniques are now likely to be published outside of radiology journals.

Just under two thirds of the papers were published after 1990 which is surprising as it is natural to assume that older papers will accumulate more citations. However this is only true to a certain degree. It will generally take 1-2 years after publication for a paper to be cited. This is followed by an increase in citation rate up to a maximum point which is usually between 5 and 10 years after publication. After this maximum point the rate of citation gradually starts to decline[1]. This has two main implications; firstly older papers do not continue to accumulate citations in proportion to their age, this is why the top of this list is not solely made up by the oldest papers; secondly very recently published papers will not be included in this list as, despite their scientific originality and impact, they have not had time to accumulate sufficient citations. Whilst it is reassuring that older doesn’t necessarily mean more cited, the fact that recently published papers are inherently excluded from citation analysis demonstrates one of its major flaws. Another limitation of citation analysis is the process of “obliteration by incorporation”[10]. This describes the phenomenon where information from landmark papers becomes incorporated and absorbed into current knowledge and thus these papers are not explicitly cited. For this reason it has been noted that many true “classic papers” and seminal works in a particular field are not found in the most cited list itself but rather in the reference lists of the most cited papers.

This list is dominated by the United States with 67 papers in the top 100. This correlates with similar studies in other fields such as dermatology[11] (United States = 75%), general surgery[12] (United States = 78%) and orthopaedics[5] (United States = 77%). It reflects the huge influence of the United States on medical research and the massive scientific output of the country. It has also been noted that there is a tendency for American authors to preferentially cite other papers from the United States and this is likely to increase their dominance[7,13]. In fact interventional radiology appears to be less dominated by the United States than other specialties with significant contributions from the European power houses of Italy (n = 20) and France (n = 10).

All papers were published in only 10 journals. With 60 publications in the top 100 Radiology is by far the most prolific publisher followed by the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR) with 20 publications. Most papers are published in general radiology journals with only a handful (n = 6) published in the two specific interventional journals in the list –Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology and the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology. However this is likely to reflect relatively recent emergence of specialised interventional radiology journals (1977 and 1990 respectively) when compared to the traditional pre eminent radiology journals such as Radiology and the AJR.

One flaw of this study is that, due to technological limitations of the database of Journal Citation Reports, the search for papers was limited to specialist radiology journals. This meant that papers published in non-radiology journals would not be included in this “top 100 list”. This is particularly relevant when considering older papers which would have been more likely to have been published in non specialist radiology journals.

Citation bias towards authors of the same nationality has already been discussed. Other limitations of this study can be linked to the inherent weakness of using citation rate alone in measuring a paper’s strength. Instead of using a citation to give credit to those who have significantly influenced their work, some authors use citations to support their own results or to persuade the reader towards a particular conclusion, a process known as incomplete citing[14]. Many other biases are recognised which might influence the citation of papers. These include self or in house citation bias, bias towards citing review articles over original research and English language bias.

It is clear from discussion of the flaws and limitations of this study, as well as the biases inherent in the field of citation analysis, that the number of citations that a paper receives should not be used alone as a measure of its scientific quality[1,15]. However it is also clear that the citation rate of a paper is one of many useful tools in measuring the recognition that a paper has received and therefore the impact that a paper has had on its specialty[16], Whilst this list of citation classics in interventional radiology should not be considered the definitive “top 100” of this specialty, it does reveal many landmark papers and identifies many of the topics, authors and institutions which have dominated the specialty over the last sixty years.

This is the first study to use citation analysis in an attempt to identify the research papers which have had the greatest impact on the specialty of interventional radiology. Although citation analysis does have limitations, many of the seminal papers of interventional radiology and pioneers of the field are included in this list of “100 citation classics”.


The value of a scientific paper may be defined by its impact on the biomedical field in which it is published. Papers which impact greatly on their field may achieve the status of a “classic paper”. This may be defined using the concept of a citation classic - the number of times a paper is cited reflects its impact and relevance. The aim of this study was to define the top 100 citation classics of the rapidly evolving specialty of interventional radiology and in the process identify the topics, authors and institutions that have impacted greatly on this rapidly evolving specialty.

Research frontiers

Interventional radiology is a young and rapidly evolving specialty. For the last 40 years interventional radiologists have been at the vanguard of innovation with the development of numerous minimally invasive procedures which have revolutionised patient management in multiple areas. The speciality has rapidly grown and evolved from its origins with Seldinger’s refinement of arterial cannulisation and Dodder’s development of angioplasty and the catheter delivered stents. Embolization of arterial haemorrhage in trauma, catheter directed thrombolysis and coiling of aneurysms are now the gold standard treatments in their respective areas. Recent advances in the specialty include drug eluting balloons and stents in peripheral vascular disease, microwave tumor ablation for liver, kidney and lung tumors and transarterial catheter directed chemotherapy or radionuclide therapy in primary liver tumors and metastases. This study has used citation analysis to define many of the seminal papers within interventional radiology.

Innovations and breakthroughs

This is the first study which has used citation analysis in an attempt to define the most innovative and significant papers in interventional radiology and those which have had the most significant impact on this field. Although citation analysis does have limitations, many of the seminal papers of interventional radiology are included in this list of “100 citation classics”.


This study has used citation analysis to identify the 100 classic papers of interventional radiology. These papers included many of the seminal works in this field by many of the pioneers of the specialty providing a fascinating discourse on the evolution and development of interventional radiology.


IR: Interventional radiology.


Nice paper with good analyses.


P- Reviewer: Lakhdar F, Pinto A, Sener RN S- Editor: Ji FF L- Editor: A E- Editor: Jiao XK

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