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Technical Guidelines
for Submission of Figures

Technical Guidelines for Submission of Figures, Illustrations, Videos, Graphics and other Materials


  • Medical illustrations

  • Charts and graphs (vector graphics)

  • Photographic (halftone) images (raster graphics) 

  • Videos

  • Interactive graphics


Types of removable media accepted 

  • USB stick


For Illustrations 

  • PDF

  • GIF

  • JPEG

  • TIFF

  • BMP

  • Adobe Illustrator (.ai) 

  • Microsoft PowerPoint


For Graphs and Charts (Vector Graphics) 

  • Adobe Illustrator (.ai)

  • Unlocked PDFs created from a vector program


Acceptable but not preferred:

BMP for black-and-white line art only. Resolution must be 1200 dpi/ppi.

Microsoft PowerPoint, Excel, and Word. Graphs must be placed into these programs        as vector images, not as rasterized images.

  • EPS

  • TIFF

  • Adobe Photoshop (.psd)

  • JPEG (use only the maximum quality compression setting)


For Video 

A video file submitted for consideration for publication on should be in   complete and final format and at as high a resolution as possible. Any editing of the    video will be the responsibility of the author.

THM will review video files submitted in the following formats:

  • MP4 (MPEG)

  • AVI


For Interactive Graphics 

Interactive graphics may contain any of the graphic types previously mentioned:   medical illustrations, charts and graphs, photographic (halftone) images, and video. Formats already specified for each of these types may be submitted for appropriate           components of an interactive graphic.


Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) files are also acceptable.      DICOM is a standard for storing and transmitting medical images. It includes a file       format definition and a network communications protocol. The communication     protocol is an application protocol that uses TCP/IP to communicate between systems.

Remove all information that could be used to identify a patient, including name,    medical-record number, hospital name, and so forth. If impossible to remove all        potentially identifying information, patients must sign the THM Release Form for Photographs of Identifiable Patients before an image or video may be considered for      publication.

If submitting a still image, prepare:

One version of the image with arrows and labels identifying relevant image structures.      If there is more than one panel, label as Panel A, B, etc.


            A second version of the image with no labels or arrows.


            If submitting a video, prepare a high-resolution still image to be used for display.


            Include a title for the submission comprising up to eight (8) words in total.


  In a separate text file (MS Word preferred), create a descriptive legend (up to 150 words in length    with no references) that succinctly describes:


  • Relevant clinical information, including important features of the patient’s history (age, gender), where they presented, relevant physical and laboratory findings, clinical courses, response to treatment (if any), and condition at last follow-up.

  • All labeled structures, including callouts corresponding to image panels (if relevant).

  • A teaching point that makes clear the clinical importance of the submission.


Submit Your Image or Video

            Register and/or log in to the THM online submission system.

            Select Submit a New Manuscript.

  Choose Images in Clinical Medicine’ as the article type and follow instructions appearing at the top of each     subsequent screen.

            Upload all files described above separately.

            For up to two (2) authors, be prepared to enter names, institutions, and email addresses.


If THM editors deem an image unsuitable for publication, author(s) will receive notification in approximately one (1) week. If potentially suitable for publication, the image will be sent on for peer review and then brought to a monthly editorial meeting for further consideration.



Figures and Illustrations

While low-resolution images and figures are acceptable for initial editorial, peer, and statistical review, revised manuscript submissions must be accompanied by image and figure versions that meet specifications outlined in Technical Guidelines for Figures. opens in new tab. Authors can either insert figures into text files (preferred) or upload figure files separately.


Final Materials

Authors preparing to submit revised manuscripts to THM should ensure they have completed all requirements and that their materials are production-ready.


Manuscript Editing

If THM accepts a revised manuscript for publication, it enters a final rigorous editing and production cycle, in which THM manuscript editors edit the text to ensure the article and its conclusions will be understood by a global audience of clinicians across all medical specialties.


At this stage, authors can expect to collaborate either by telephone or email with THM manuscript and graphics editors on finalizing and proofreading their manuscript and developing high-quality figures, illustrations, animations, and videos.


Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor are considered for publication (subject to editing and abridgment) provided they do not contain material that has been submitted or published elsewhere.


Letters accepted for publication will appear on The Heart Matrix website at



THM adheres strictly to the following policies regarding Letters to the Editor.


Letters in reference to Journal articles:

  • May include up to 200 words (title, references, and author signatures are not counted toward total)

  • Must be received within three weeks after publication of article referenced

  • May be shared with article authors


Letters not related to Journal articles:

May include up to 400 words (title, references, and author signatures are not counted toward total)


All letters:

  • May be signed by up to three (3) authors

  • May include up to five (5) references and one (1) figure or table

  • May list only one (1) institutional affiliation (without department or division names) or street address per author


THM does not publish acknowledgments in the Correspondence section.


Prepare Your Letter for Submission

  • Letters to the Editor must include:

  • Address, telephone number, and email address for each author.

  • Disclosure of all financial associations or other possible conflicts of interest (to be published with the letter) for each author. For authors of Journal articles who are responding to letters, THM publishes only new relevant relationships that have developed since publication of the article.


Submit Your Letter

Register and/or log in to the THM online submission system.


Select Start New Submission.


For Article Type, choose Letter about THM Article or Letter NOT about THM Article.

Note for Letters about THM Articles: Article titles become available for selection on the submission site on the print publication date and remain posted for three (3) weeks. 


THM will consider for publication only one (1) Letter to the Editor submission per Journal article; multiple submissions about the same article from the same author(s) will be withdrawn from consideration.


Letter writers will receive email messages acknowledging receipt of their submissions and will be notified when decisions have been made about possible publication.

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