knowledge has been used as a resource for intelligent and effective action planning in organizations. interest in research on knowledge management processes has intensified in different areas. a systematic literature review was accomplished, based on the question: what are the contributions of brazilian and international journal publications on knowledge management in health? the sample totaled 32 items that complied with the inclusion criteria. the results showed that 78% of journals that published on the theme are international, 77% of researchers work in higher education and 65% have a ph.d. the texts gave rise to five thematic categories, mainly: development of knowledge management systems in health (37.5%), discussion of knowledge management application in health (28.1%) and nurses' function in knowledge management (18.7%).