One criticism against case reports is that although they are widely read they are not often cited. I’ve therefore been looking for the case report or case series that has the highest number of academic citations.
At the moment the best I’ve found is:
James A.R. Nicoll, David Wilkinson, Clive Holmes, Phil Steart, Hannah Markham & Roy O. Weller. Neuropathology of human Alzheimer disease after immunization with amyloid-beta peptide: a case report. Nature Medicine 9, 448 – 452 (2003)
with 641 citations listed by Google Scholar.
ISI’s Web of Knowledge has the ability of ranking searches by “Times Cited” but I haven’t been able to find one with more citations. PubMed and Highwire don’t seem to have a “sort by number of citations” feature.
I’m sure that some classic cases such as Sydenham’s account of gout or Hippocrates’ description of diabetes have been cited in many hundreds of textbooks alone but how should one judge the world record holder? Should it be the absolute number of citations – in which case Hippocrates has over 2000 years advantage – or the peak number of citations per year?
Arguments about the compatibility of different counts of citation numbers aside … any suggestions for other highly cited case reports would be most welcome.