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Medical Subject Headings® (MeSH®)
Tools and Trivia


The following perl script computes the number of allowable MeSH main heading/subheading pairs based on the MeSH file in ASCII format made available by NLM:

For a general discussion of cycles in the UMLS® (Unified Medical Language System® ), see this paper (EN ) or this paper (FR ). Specifically, here is some evidence of cycles in MeSH (examples from MeSH 2008): (mainly) MeSH-related field codes for PubMed® Searches:

See NLM's website for more comprehensive PubMed Tutorials.

To search MeSH using NLM's MeSH Browser or CISMeF's terminology server:


: This work was supported by an appointment of A. Névéol to the NLM Postdoctoral Program sponsored by the National Library of Medicine and administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education.


Sept. 2008