Welcome to Francis Academic Press

Frontiers in Medical Science Research, 2023, 5(7); doi: 10.25236/FMSR.2023.050706.

Visualization Analysis of Research Hotspots and Trends in the Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy with Traditional Chinese Medicine


Huang Liqing, Wang Yang

Corresponding Author:
Wang Yang

College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Fuzhou, Fujian, 350122, China


This paper aims to make a systematic visualization analysis on literature relating to the treatment of diabetic retinopathy (DR) with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and explore the research hotspots and frontier trends in this field, thus providing references for future research. All literature relating to this field, which were published between the time when the databases were released and August 29th 2022, was retrieved from databases such as China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), China Science and Technology Journal Database(VIP), Wanfang Database and Web of Science Core Collection (WOSCC).Citespace software was used for visualization analyses on co-occurrence, clustering and citation burst of the keywords of papers published, and the category, authors, institutions, keywords of the papers as well as the research hotspots in the field. A total of 507 Chinese articles and 765 English papers in this field were obtained. Through analysis, it was found that there were 24 core authors in Chinese articles and only one in English articles. Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine each published 12 Chinese papers in the field, the most Chinese papers that an institution had ever published, while Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences published 22 English papers, the most English papers an institution had ever published. The co-occurrence analyses for keywords showed that 362 keywords were captured from Chinese articles, which included "traditional Chinese medicine" "review" and "deficiency of both Qi and Yin", etc. And a total of 583 keywords were captured from English articles, which focused on "oxidative stress" "medicinal plant" and "cell", etc. By clustering the keywords, seven clustering labels were formed using keywords identified from Chinese articles, including "#0 diabetic retinopathy" "#1 traditional Chinese medicine" and "#2 laser photocoagulation". And nine clustering tags were formed using keywords from English articles, including "# 0 diabetes mellitus", "# 1 diabetes retina" and "# 2 antioxidant activity". The citation burst analysis of keywords from Chinese papers showed that Chinese herbal drug was the keywords with the longest duration of research focus, and together with laser photocoagulation, constituted the topics in the earliest research of the field. While in English paper analysis, glycemic control was a topic with the longest research duration, and constituent was the subject in the earliest research of the field. Conclusions are as follows, the number of literature in the field of TCM treatment for DR has increased year on year. However, cooperation and interactions between researchers and research institutions didn’t look promising over the years, which apparently should be enhanced. Clinical treatments for DR and their mechanism has been the hotspots in this research field, with mechanism research, drug therapies and DR mortality as the trending research directions.


Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM); Diabetes; Retinopathy; CiteSpace; Visualization analysis

Cite This Paper

Huang Liqing, Wang Yang. Visualization Analysis of Research Hotspots and Trends in the Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy with Traditional Chinese Medicine. Frontiers in Medical Science Research (2023) Vol. 5, Issue 7: 34-47. https://doi.org/10.25236/FMSR.2023.050706.


[1] Teo ZL, Tham YC, Yu M, et al. Global prevalence of diabetic retinopathy and projection of burden through 2045: systematic review and meta-analysis [J]. Ophthalmology, 2021, 128(11): 1580-1591.

[2] Berrocal MH, Acaba-berrocal L. Early pars plana vitrectomy for proliferative diabetic retinopathy: update and review of current literature [J]. Current Opinion in Ophthalmology, 2021, 32(3): 203-208. 

[3] Li S, Yang Y, Zou J, et al. The efficacy and safety of intravitreal injection of Ranibizumab as pre-treatment for vitrectomyin proliferativediabetic retinopathy with vitreous hemorrhage[J]. BMC Ophthalmology, 2022, 22(1):1-9.

[4] Duan JG, Jin M, Jie CH, et al. TCM diagnosis and treatment criteria for diabetic retinopathy[J]. World Journal of Integrated Traditional and Western Medicine, 2011, 6(7): 632-637.

[5] Ai X, Yu P, Hou Y, et al. A review of traditional Chinese medicine on treatment of diabetic retinopathy and involved mechanisms[J]. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & Pharmacotherapie, 2020, 132: 1-17. 

[6] Zhang HW, Zhang H, Grant SJ, et al. Single herbal medicine for diabetic retinopathy[J]. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2018, 12(12): 1-44. 

[7] Li T, Wei YW, Ma L. Knowledge mapping analysis of chinese medicine 'preventive treatment' literature based on CiteSpace TCM based on Citespace Ⅲ [J]. Chinese Journal of Basic Medicine in Traditional Chinese Medicine, 2018, 24(11): 1526-1529. 

[8] Li J, Chen CM. CiteSpace: text mining and visualization in scientific literature [M]. Beijing: Capital Economic and Trade University Press, 2016. 

[9] Chen F, Zhang SJ. Knowledge mapping-based analysis of hot spots and frontiers in studies on domestic hospital libraries [J]. Chinese Journal of Medical Library and Information Science, 2016, 25(8): 19-23. 

[10] Worowounga X, Rahmani R, Namkona AF, et al. Metabolites profiling of manilkara mabokeensis aubrév bark and investigation of biological activities[J]. International Journal of Analytical Chemistry, 2022, 2022: 1-14. 

[11] Hou HY. Research on progress of scientometrics based on knowledge graph[M]. Dalian: Dalian University of Technology, 2006.

[12] Chen Y, Chen CM, Hu ZG. Principles and applications of analyzing citation space[M]. Beijing: Science Press, 2014. 

[13] Tong X, Xu J, Lian F, et al. Structural alteration of gut microbiota during the amelioration of human type 2 diabetes with hyperlipidemia by metformin and a traditional Chinese herbal formula: a multicenter, randomized, open label clinical trial[J]. MBio, 2018, 9(3): 1-12. 

[14] Pang B, Li M, Song J, et al. Luo Tong formula attenuates retinal inflammation in diabetic rats via inhibition of the p38MAPK/NF-κB pathway[J]. Chinese Medicine, 2020, 15: 1-12. 

[15] Peng QH. Ophthalmology of traditional Chinese medicine[M]. Beijing: China Press of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 2016.

[16] Zhou J, Wu QQ, Yang YF, et al. Research progress of promoting blood circulation and removing blood stasis in diabetic retinopathy [J]. Journal of Liaoning University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 2019, 21(12): 70-72. 

[17] Duan JG, Liao PZ, Ye HJ, et al., editors. Clinical evidence-based study on Qiming Granules for diabetic retinopathy[C]. Proceedings of Annual Meeting of Ophthalmology Zhejiang Province; 2014 4 December; Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China: Ophthalmology Branch of Zhejiang Medical Association.

[18] Jiang PF, Peng J, Zhou YS, et al. Ophthalmic syndrome differentiation system and digital Chinese medicine [J]. Digital Chinese Medicine, 2018, 1(1): 9-13. 

[19] Ma J, Wu PZ. Epalrestat combined with Huoxue Huayu preparation for the treatment of early diabetic retinopathy and its effect on serum oxidative stress and inflammatory factors [J]. Clinical Research, 2021, 29(8): 44-46. 

[20] Nie FJ, Liu ZM, Sun SM, et al. Dan Huang Ming Mu recipe suppresses the progression of streptozotocin-induced diabetic retinopathy after retinal laser photocoagulation in brown Norway rats via down-regulating vascular endothelial growth factor and up-regulating pigment epithelium-derived factor[J]. Digital Chinese Medicine, 2019, 2(1): 19-28.

[21] Pitale PM, Gorbatyuk MS. Diabetic retinopathy: from animal models to cellular signaling[J]. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2022, 23(3): 1-22. 

[22] Zhou Y, Fan G, Zhang Y, et al. Identification of potential molecular targets and active ingredients of Mingmu Dihuang Pill for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy based on network pharmacology[J]. BioMed Research International, 2022: 1-18. 

[23] Tonade D, Kern TS. Photoreceptor cells and RPE contribute to the development of diabetic retinopathy [J]. Progress in Retinal and Eye Research, 2021, 83: 100919.

[24] Kupis M, Samelska K, Szaflik J, et al. Novel therapies for diabetic retinopathy [J]. Central-European Journal of Immunology, 2022, 47(1): 102-108. 

[25] Ai X, Yu P, Luo L, et al. Berberis dictyophylla F. inhibits angiogenesis and apoptosis of diabetic retinopathy via suppressing HIF-1α/VEGF/DLL-4/Notch-1 pathway [J]. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2022, 296: 115453.