Medical Subject Headings

From Wikipedia for FEVERv2
Jump to navigation Jump to search

"MeSH" redirects here. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_0

For the organic chemical, see Methanethiol. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_1

Medical Subject Headings_table_infobox_0

Medical Subject HeadingsMedical Subject Headings_table_caption_0
ContentMedical Subject Headings_header_cell_0_1_0
DescriptionMedical Subject Headings_header_cell_0_2_0 Medical Subject HeadingsMedical Subject Headings_cell_0_2_1
Data types

capturedMedical Subject Headings_header_cell_0_3_0

controlled vocabularyMedical Subject Headings_cell_0_3_1
ContactMedical Subject Headings_header_cell_0_4_0
Research centerMedical Subject Headings_header_cell_0_5_0 United States National Library of Medicine

National Center for Biotechnology InformationMedical Subject Headings_cell_0_5_1

LaboratoryMedical Subject Headings_header_cell_0_6_0 United States National Library of MedicineMedical Subject Headings_cell_0_6_1
AuthorsMedical Subject Headings_header_cell_0_7_0 F B RogersMedical Subject Headings_cell_0_7_1
Primary citationMedical Subject Headings_header_cell_0_8_0 PMIDMedical Subject Headings_cell_0_8_1
AccessMedical Subject Headings_header_cell_0_9_0
WebsiteMedical Subject Headings_header_cell_0_10_0 Medical Subject Headings_cell_0_10_1

Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) is a comprehensive controlled vocabulary for the purpose of indexing journal articles and books in the life sciences. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_2

It serves as a thesaurus that facilitates searching. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_3

Created and updated by the United States National Library of Medicine (NLM), it is used by the MEDLINE/PubMed article database and by NLM's catalog of book holdings. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_4

MeSH is also used by ClinicalTrials.gov registry to classify which diseases are studied by trials registered in ClinicalTrials. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_5

MeSH was introduced in the 1960s, with the NLM's own index catalogue and the subject headings of the Quarterly Cumulative Index Medicus (1940 edition) as precursors. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_6

The yearly printed version of MeSH was discontinued in 2007 and MeSH is now available online only. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_7

It can be browsed and downloaded free of charge through PubMed. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_8

Originally in English, MeSH has been translated into numerous other languages and allows retrieval of documents from different origins. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_9

Structure Medical Subject Headings_section_0

MeSH vocabulary is divided into four types of terms. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_10

The main ones are the "headings" (also known as MeSH headings or descriptors), which describe the subject of each article (e.g., "Body Weight", "Brain Edema" or "Critical Care Nursing"). Medical Subject Headings_sentence_11

Most of these are accompanied by a short description or definition, links to related descriptors, and a list of synonyms or very similar terms (known as entry terms). Medical Subject Headings_sentence_12

MeSH contains approximately 27,000 and is updated annually to reflect changes in medicine and medical terminology. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_13

MeSH terms are arranged in alphabetic order and in a hierarchical structure by subject categories with more specific terms arranged beneath broader terms. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_14

When we search for a MeSH term, the most specific MeSH terms are automatically included in the search. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_15

This is known as the extended search or explode of that MeSH term. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_16

This additional information and the hierarchical structure (see below) make the MeSH essentially a thesaurus, rather than a plain subject headings list. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_17

The second type of term, MeSH subheadings or qualifiers (see below), can be used with MeSH terms to more completely describe a particular aspect of a subject, such as adverse, diagnostic or genetic effects. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_18

For example, the drug therapy of asthma is displayed as asthma/drug therapy. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_19

The remaining two types of term are those that describe the type of material that the article represents (publication types), and supplementary concept records (SCR) which describes substances such as chemical products and drugs that are not included in the headings (see below as "Supplements"). Medical Subject Headings_sentence_20

Descriptor hierarchy Medical Subject Headings_section_1

The descriptors or subject headings are arranged in a hierarchy. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_21

A given descriptor may appear at several locations in the hierarchical tree. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_22

The tree locations carry systematic labels known as tree numbers, and consequently one descriptor can carry several tree numbers. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_23

For example, the descriptor "Digestive System Neoplasms" has the tree numbers C06.301 and C04.588.274; C stands for Diseases, C06 for Digestive System Diseases and C06.301 for Digestive System Neoplasms; C04 for Neoplasms, C04.588 for Neoplasms By Site, and C04.588.274 also for Digestive System Neoplasms. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_24

The tree numbers of a given descriptor are subject to change as MeSH is updated. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_25

Every descriptor also carries a unique alphanumerical ID that will not change. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_26

Descriptions Medical Subject Headings_section_2

Most subject headings come with a short description or definition. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_27

See the MeSH description for diabetes type 2 as an example. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_28

The explanatory text is written by the MeSH team based on their standard sources if not otherwise stated. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_29

References are mostly encyclopaedias and standard textbooks of the subject areas. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_30

References for specific statements in the descriptions are not given; instead, readers are referred to the bibliography. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_31

Qualifiers Medical Subject Headings_section_3

In addition to the descriptor hierarchy, MeSH contains a small number of standard qualifiers (also known as subheadings), which can be added to descriptors to narrow down the topic. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_32

For example, "Measles" is a descriptor and "epidemiology" is a qualifier; "Measles/epidemiology" describes the subheading of epidemiological articles about Measles. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_33

The "epidemiology" qualifier can be added to all other disease descriptors. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_34

Not all descriptor/qualifier combinations are allowed since some of them may be meaningless. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_35

In all there are 83 different qualifiers. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_36

Supplements Medical Subject Headings_section_4

In addition to the descriptors, MeSH also contains some 139,000 supplementary concept records. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_37

These do not belong to the controlled vocabulary as such; instead they enlarge the thesaurus and contain links to the closest fitting descriptor to be used in a MEDLINE search. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_38

Many of these records describe chemical substances. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_39

Use in Medline/PubMed Medical Subject Headings_section_5

In MEDLINE/PubMed, every journal article is indexed with about 10–15 subject headings, subheadings and supplementary concept records, with some of them designated as major and marked with an asterisk, indicating the article's major topics. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_40

When performing a MEDLINE search via PubMed, entry terms are automatically translated into (i.e. mapped to) the corresponding descriptors with a good degree of reliability; it is recommended to check the 'Details tab' in PubMed to see how a search formulation was translated. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_41

By default, a search for a descriptor will include all the descriptors in the hierarchy below the given one. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_42

PubMed does not apply automatic mapping of the term in the following circumstances: by writing the quoted phrase (e.g., "kidney allograft"), when truncated on the asterisk (e.g., kidney allograft *), and when looking with field labels (e.g., Cancer [ti]). Medical Subject Headings_sentence_43

Use at ClinicalTrials.gov Medical Subject Headings_section_6

At ClinicalTrials.gov, each trial has keywords that describe the trial. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_44

The ClinicalTrials.gov team assigns each trial two sets of MeSH terms. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_45

One set is for the conditions studied by the trial and the another for the set of interventions used in the trial. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_46

The XML file that can be downloaded for each trial contains these MeSH keywords. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_47

The XML file also has a comment that says: "the assignment of MeSH keywords is done by imperfect algorithm". Medical Subject Headings_sentence_48

Categories Medical Subject Headings_section_7

For the full hierarchy, see List of MeSH codes. Medical Subject Headings_sentence_49

The top-level categories in the MeSH descriptor hierarchy are: Medical Subject Headings_sentence_50

Medical Subject Headings_unordered_list_0

  • Anatomy [A]Medical Subject Headings_item_0_0
  • Organisms [B]Medical Subject Headings_item_0_1
  • Diseases [C]Medical Subject Headings_item_0_2
  • Chemicals and Drugs [D]Medical Subject Headings_item_0_3
  • Analytical, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Techniques and Equipment [E]Medical Subject Headings_item_0_4
  • Psychiatry and Psychology [F]Medical Subject Headings_item_0_5
  • Biological Sciences [G]Medical Subject Headings_item_0_6
  • Physical Sciences [H]Medical Subject Headings_item_0_7
  • Anthropology, Education, Sociology and Social Phenomena [I]Medical Subject Headings_item_0_8
  • Technology and Food and Beverages [J]Medical Subject Headings_item_0_9
  • Humanities [K]Medical Subject Headings_item_0_10
  • Information Science [L]Medical Subject Headings_item_0_11
  • Persons [M]Medical Subject Headings_item_0_12
  • Health Care [N]Medical Subject Headings_item_0_13
  • Publication Characteristics [V]Medical Subject Headings_item_0_14
  • Geographic Locations [Z]Medical Subject Headings_item_0_15

See also Medical Subject Headings_section_8

Medical Subject Headings_unordered_list_1


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical Subject Headings.