Global knowledge mapping and emerging trends in research between spasmolytic polypeptide-expressing metaplasia and gastric carcinogenesis

A bibliometric analysis from 2002 to 2022


Spasmolytic polypeptide expression metaplasia (SPEM) is a distinct cellular change that can take place in the stomach corpus and fundus. In the case of SPEM, the mature chief cells in the intrinsic gland of gastric mucosa are replaced by a different type of reprograming cells. This change in cell type is thought to be a response to chronic inflammation and injury in the stomach, such as that caused by long-term infection with the Helicobacter pylori (Hp) or autoimmune gastritis. The exact function and significance of SPEM are still not fully understood, but it is believed to be a precursor to the development of certain gastric conditions, including gastric cancer. It is believed to be a precursor lesion or an early step in the process of gastric carcinogenesis. The prevalence of SPEM can vary depending on the population studied and the presence of specific risk factors such as Hp infection or immune microenvironment disorder. In general, SPEM is considered to be a relatively common finding in patients with these conditions.

While the exact role of SPEM in gastric cancer progression is still being investigated, studies have shown an association between the presence of SPEM and increased risk of gastric cancer. However, it’s important to note that not all cases of SPEM progress to cancer, and the exact risk factors and mechanisms involved are not fully understood. As a result of the potential link between SPEM and gastric cancer, researchers are actively studying SPEM to gain a better understanding of its pathogenesis and clinical implications. This knowledge could potentially lead to improved diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for gastric cancer prevention and treatment.

In a new research study in the peer-reviewed Journal Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, Dr. Lin Liu, Dr. Yang Wang, Dr. Yukun Zhao, Dr. Wei Zhang, Dr. Jiong Liu, Dr. Fengyun Wang, Dr. Ping Wang, and Dr. Xudong Tang from the Xiyuan Hospital of China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences (CACMS) examined the bibliometric analysis in SPEM-GC field which involved analyzing the scientific publications related to the topic using bibliometric methods. The research team started by selecting reputable databases Web of Science Core Collection (WoSCC). This database provide access to a wide range of scientific publications in various disciplines. They determined the specific search terms and keywords to use when searching the literature. Consider terms related to Spasmolytic polypeptide expression metaplasia, such as “SPEM,” “gastric metaplasia,” or “gastric cancer.” Use Boolean operators (AND, OR) to combine search terms effectively. They performed a systematic search using the identified search criteria in the selected databases. The authors extracted the relevant bibliographic data from the selected publications. This data may include publication titles, authors, journals, publication years, abstracts, and keywords. Next examined the publication trends over time. Plot the number of publications related to SPEM by year to identify any patterns, increases, or decreases in research output. Determination of the geographical distribution of the published research on SPEM included identifying the countries where the research was most prominent. Researchers can present the analysis using elegant maps or tables. Indeed, bibliometric analysis can be complex, and specialized tools such as bibliometric software (e.g., VOSviewer, CiteSpace and SCImago) can assist in visualizing and analyzing the data to ensure accurate analysis and interpretation of the results. The authors analyzed 292 articles with a stable trend in SPEM-GC research but rapid growth in the number of citations. The United States was the leader in terms of quality publications and international cooperation among them. The total number of articles published by Chinese scholars was second to the United States. Additionally, despite its low centrality and average citation frequency, China has become one of the world’s most dynamic countries in academics.

When the authors investigated collaboration networks among authors and institutions involved in the publications, they identified key authors that frequently contribute to research on Spasmolytic polypeptide expression metaplasia, Vanderbilt University was identified as the most productive institution. Further, they also observed that Gastroenterology was the highest co-cited journal, and Dr. Goldenring Jr. was the most prolific author with the largest centrality. Examining citation patterns can determine the impact and influence of the publications related to Spasmolytic polypeptide expression metaplasia. Moreover, identifying highly cited articles and journals within the field and assessing citation patterns can provide insights into the most influential studies or authors in the area.

In conclusion, Dr. Xudong Tang and colleagues summarized the findings from the bibliometric analysis and drew conclusions about the state of research on Spasmolytic polypeptide expression metaplasia. They point out that SPEM could serve as an initial step in diagnosing gastric precancerous lesions. Current hotspots and frontiers of research include SPEM cell lineage differentiation, interaction with Hp, disturbances of the mucosal microenvironment, biomarkers, clinical diagnosis and outcomes of SPEM, as well as the development of proliferative SPEM animal models. The findings presented in this study can be used as reference for the research status of SPEM-GC and determine new directions for future studies.

Global knowledge mapping and emerging trends in research between spasmolytic polypeptide-expressing metaplasia and gastric carcinogenesis: A bibliometric analysis from 2002 to 2022 - Medicine Innovates

About the author

Professor Xudong Tang
Chief researcher and vice present of CACMS
Director of Institute of Digestive Diseases, Xiyuan Hospital, CACMS
Academician of International Eurasian Academy of Sciences

Professor Tang is a distinguished authority in the field of internal medicine of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), specializing in digestive diseases. Drawing upon the classical theory of digestive diseases in TCM, specifically the “spleen deficiency theory,” he has developed a comprehensive set of TCM diagnostic and treatment methodologies, which are widely recognized as the ‘New Eight Syndrome Differentiation’ and ‘Mediated Counterbalance’. The team initiated the establishment of a national engineering laboratory in China to assess the clinical effectiveness and safety of TCM in accordance with global benchmarks. They also pioneered several industry standards domestically and internationally, devised a novel placebo for traditional Chinese medicine decoction, and devised essential technologies and instruments for clinical evaluation research, including the patient-reported outcomes (PRO) scale for chronic gastrointestinal diseases with overlapping symptoms. Furthermore, he and his team has conducted groundbreaking research on the utilization of TCM for the management of atrophic gastritis and precancerous lesions, functional gastrointestinal disorders, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and other challenging digestive system ailments, as well as fundamental research on the implementation of “spleen main transport”. His team has also successfully executed 12 randomized controlled trials, significantly enhancing the efficacy of TCM in the prevention and treatment of complex digestive system diseases and elevating the level of evidence-based substantiation.


Liu L, Wang Y, Zhao Y, Zhang W, Liu J, Wang F, Wang P, Tang X. Global knowledge mapping and emerging trends in research between spasmolytic polypeptide-expressing metaplasia and gastric carcinogenesis: A bibliometric analysis from 2002 to 2022. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2023 Jan 27;12:1108378. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2022.1108378.

Go To Front Endocrinol (Lausanne).