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Application status of the definition of polytrauma in clinical research-A review of the past decade

  • Ding Xu1,2
  • Yu-Long Shi2
  • Peng Luo2,3
  • Wei-Jun Guo2,3

1Department of Orthopedic Trauma Surgery, Ningbo NO.6 Hospital, P. R. China

2Department of Orthopedic Trauma Surgery, RWTH Aachen University, Germany

3Department of Orthopedic Trauma Surgery, The second affiliated hospital and Yuying Children’s hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, P. R. China

DOI: 10.22514/sv.2020.16.0120

Online publish date: 07 January 2021

*Corresponding Author(s): Ding Xu E-mail:


Background: The purpose of this study was to investigate the evolution and latest trends in the application of different polytrauma definitions in the past ten years of clinical research, by collecting published polytrauma study data.

Method: We conducted Pubmed, Embase and Ovid searches of literature on polytrauma, published between January 2008 and December 2018. The title, author name, definition of polytrauma, publishing date, country, type of article, and the name and impact factor of journal were recorded and analysed.

Results: Based on different definition of polytrauma, the selected articles were grouped into four categories: (1) definition of polytrauma based on ISS, (2) definition of polytrauma based on NISS, (3) definition of polytrauma based on AIS, (4) descriptive definition of polytrauma. The 321 selected articles were published in 56 journals, predominantly in European and American medical journals, led by Injury (n = 41), followed by Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery (n = 27) and European Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery (n = 17). Germany had the largest number of publications, with 88 articles. All articles were clinical research. There were 88 multi-centre studies and 233 single-centre studies.

Conclusions: The definition of polytrauma in clinical research was still mainly based on ISS. The appearance of the “New Berlin Definition” provides a new direction for its development. However, all these varying definitions are inconsistent and a globally recognised definition of polytrauma should be established.


Polytrauma; Definition; Bibliometric analysis; ISS; NISS; AIS

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Ding Xu,Yu-Long Shi,Peng Luo,Wei-Jun Guo. Application status of the definition of polytrauma in clinical research-A review of the past decade. Signa Vitae. 2021.doi:10.22514/sv.2020.16.0120.


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