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What are the changes in the hotspots and frontiers of microRNAs in hepatocellular carcinoma over the past decade?

BACKGROUND: Emerging research suggests that microRNAs (miRNAs) play an important role in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). A comprehensive analysis of recent research concerning miRNAs in HCC development could provide researchers with a valuable reference for further studies.

AIM: To make a comprehensive analysis of recent studies concerning miRNAs in HCC.

METHODS: All relevant publications were retrieved from the Web of Science Core Collection database. Bibliometrix software, VOSviewer software and CiteSpace software were used to visually analyze the distribution by time, countries, institutions, journals, and authors, as well as the keywords, burst keywords and thematic map.

RESULTS: A total of 9426 publications on this topic were found worldwide. According to the keywords analysis, we found that the studies of miRNAs focused on their expression level, effects, and mechanisms on the biological behaviour of HCC. Keywords bursting analysis showed that in the early years (2013-2017), "microRNA expression", "gene expression", "expression profile", "functional polymorphism", "circulating microRNA", "susceptibility" and "mir 21" started to attract attention. In the latest phase (2018-2022), the hot topics turned to "sorafenib resistance", "tumor microenvironment" and so on.

CONCLUSION: This study provides a comprehensive overview of the role of miRNAs in HCC development based on bibliometric analysis. The hotspots in this field focus on miRNAs expression level, effects, and mechanisms on the biological behavior of HCC. The frontiers turned to sorafenib resistance, tumor microenvironment and so on.

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