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Medical Subject Headings (MeSH®) in MEDLINE®/PubMed®: A Tutorial


Searching PubMed Using MeSH Search Tags

Unattached subheadings

You may also choose to search a MeSH heading and a subheading combination using the AND Boolean operator and the subheading field tag of [sh].  This may be done when you want to search for a subheading concept that cannot “legally” be attached to the MeSH heading you are also searching.


hypertension [mh] AND toxicity [sh]

To turn off the subheading grouping, use the tag [sh:noexp].   Do this only when using an unattached subheading.


finger injuries [mh] AND surgery [sh:noexp]

PubMed's Help includes:

Subheading list

See also:

Subheading (Qualifier) Hierarchies


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