Answer Lists, Answer strings, and Answer codes

Across many domains, the meaning of a particular observation can be best understood in the context of the set of possible answers (result values). For example, the questions/items in standardized assessment instruments often have highly specialized, fixed answer lists. Additionally, because many of the answer choices are highly specialized, few are represented by existing codes in reference terminologies. For these reasons, we have created a structured Answer List representation in LOINC, where each Answer List contains a set of Answer strings and their unique Answer codes.

For more information regarding Answer Lists, strings, and codes, and their relationships to LOINC terms, see Section 9.2 "LOINC Answers (LA) and Answer Lists (LL)" of the LOINC Users' Guide.

TIP

LOINC Answer codes have an LA prefix and Answer List codes have an LL prefix

File Contents

See descriptions of the pertinent files below.

Download

LOINC Answer File
Version: 2.71
Released: 2021-08-23
Size: 1 MB (ZIP)

  • Loinc_2.71_AnswerFile_2.71
  • AnswerFileReadMe.txt
  • AnswerList.csv
  • LoincAnswerListLink.csv
  • LoincReleaseNotes.pdf
  • Loinc_2.71_License_5.2.txt

API Access

LOINC Answer Lists and Answers can be retrieved as part of the CodeSystem resource of LOINC's FHIR Terminology Server. You can use the $lookup operation to get details on the specified code. You can also focus your request to return an individual property (or numerous properties) for the Answer List or Answer.

Answer Lists also exist as ValueSet resources. You can also the $expand operation to return the answers for a given list. Furthermore, the $validate-code operation can verify if an answer exists within a specified Answer List.

See our documentation for more information on how to use the Terminology Server including example requests.

File Descriptions

AnswerList.csv

This file contains all of the Answer Lists that are associated with any of the LOINC terms included in the current LOINC release. There are two types of Answer Lists:

  1. Those that contain an enumerated list of LOINC answer strings; and
  2. Externally defined Answer Lists, which are not enumerated in LOINC but rather include pointers (e.g., OID, URL) to the external site where that answer list is maintained.

Answer Lists that were previously released but that are no longer linked to any published LOINC term are not included in this file. However, lists associated with Deprecated LOINC terms ARE included in this file, because those terms continue to be released.

LoincAnswerListLink.csv

This file contains every LOINC term in the current LOINC release that is associated with an Answer List, as well as the name and unique identifier of the Answer List, the link type, and, if applicable, the panel context in which a list or link type other than the default is associated with a given LOINC term.

This file does not include any LOINCs that are not linked to an Answer List. For the full set of LOINC terms published with each release, see the LOINC table.

Examples

The following tables show how the LOINC terms and their corresponding Answer Lists and Answers are represented in the two CSV files available within this artifact. For display purposes, NULL columns from the AnswerList.csv tables have been omitted and some column values are provided under the primary tables.

91065-3

Long Common Name

14-3-3 protein [Presence] in Tissue by NAA with probe detection

Excerpt from LoincAnswerListLink.csv

LoincNumber LongCommonName AnswerListId AnswerListName AnswerList
LinkType
Applicable
Context
91065-3 14-3-3 protein [Presence] in Tissue by NAA with probe detection LL1937-3 Present|Absent EXAMPLE

Excerpt from AnswerList.csv

AnswerListId AnswerListName Ext
Defined
YN
AnswerStringId Sequence
Number
DisplayText ExtCodeId ExtCodeDisplayName ExtCodeSystem
LL1937-3 Present|Absent N LA9633-4 1 Present 52101004 Present (qualifier value) http://snomed.info/sct
LL1937-3 Present|Absent N LA9634-2 2 Absent 2667000 Absent (qualifier value) http://snomed.info/sct

AnswerListOID: 1.3.6.1.4.1.12009.10.1.1112
ExtCodeSystemVersion: http://snomed.info/sct/900000000000207008/version/20170731
ExtCodeSystemCopyrightNotice: This material includes SNOMED Clinical Terms® (SNOMED CT®) which is used by permission of the International Health Terminology Standards Development Organisation (IHTSDO) under license. All rights reserved. SNOMED CT® was originally created by The College of American Pathologists. "SNOMED" and "SNOMED CT" are registered trademarks of the IHTSDO. This material includes content from the US Edition to SNOMED CT, which is developed and maintained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and is available to authorized UMLS Metathesaurus Licensees from the UTS Downloads site at https://uts.nlm.nih.gov. Use of SNOMED CT content is subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the SNOMED CT Affiliate License Agreement. It is the responsibility of those implementing this product to ensure they are appropriately licensed and for more information on the license, including how to register as an Affiliate Licensee, please refer to http://www.snomed.org/snomed-ct/get-snomed-ct or info@snomed.org. This may incur a fee in SNOMED International non-Member countries.

91748-4

Long Common Name

Are you able to climb the stairs of a 10-story building without stopping [PROMIS]

Excerpt from LoincAnswerListLink.csv

LoincNumber LongCommonName AnswerListId AnswerListName AnswerList
LinkType
Applicable
Context
91748-4 Are you able to climb the stairs of a 10-story building without stopping [PROMIS] LL1022-4 [PROMIS] Diffic: WO|W lit|W some|W much|Unab to do NORMATIVE

Excerpt from AnswerList.csv

AnswerListId AnswerListName Ext
Defined
YN
AnswerStringId Sequence
Number
DisplayText Score
LL1022-4 [PROMIS] Diffic: WO|W lit|W some|W much|Unab to do N LA13921-4 1 Without any difficulty 5
LL1022-4 [PROMIS] Diffic: WO|W lit|W some|W much|Unab to do N LA13918-0 2 With a little difficulty 4
LL1022-4 [PROMIS] Diffic: WO|W lit|W some|W much|Unab to do N LA13920-6 3 With some difficulty 3
LL1022-4 [PROMIS] Diffic: WO|W lit|W some|W much|Unab to do N LA13919-8 4 With much difficulty 2
LL1022-4 [PROMIS] Diffic: WO|W lit|W some|W much|Unab to do N LA13912-3 5 Unable to do 1

AnswerListOID: 1.3.6.1.4.1.12009.10.1.189

92238-5

Long Common Name

Differential diagnosis

Excerpt from LoincAnswerListLink.csv

LoincNumber LongCommonName AnswerListId AnswerListName AnswerList
LinkType
Applicable
Context
92238-5 Differential diagnosis LL3043-8 PHVS_ProblemList_HITSP PREFERRED

Excerpt from AnswerList.csv

AnswerListId AnswerListName AnswerListOID Ext
Defined
YN
ExtDefinedAnswerListLink
LL3043-8 PHVS_ProblemList_HITSP 1.3.6.1.4.1.12009.10.1.1957 Y https://phinvads.cdc.gov/vads/ViewValueSet.action?oid=2.16.840.1.113883.3.88.12.3221.7.4