LOINC Release Notes

August 2021

This is the first release per the new mid-February and mid-August release schedule.

Beginning in February 2022, we are streamlining the LOINC release structure to make it easier for users to access all of the necessary files. The LOINC table and accessory files will be released together as a single archive, and RELMA will be provided as a separate download file. Individual accessory files will no longer be available as separate downloads, and therefore will no longer have independent version numbers.

Table of contents:

LOINC table core, Version 2.71

There were no structural changes to the core table in this release, and no future changes to announce at this time. See the Readme included in the LOINC Table Core download file for information about its current file structure.

See the LOINC table notes below for information on content updates included in this release.

LOINC table, Version 2.71

Numbers

New terms and totals by type

Type New terms Total
Laboratory (type 1) 182 58,646
Clinical (type 2) 181 25,482
Attachments (type 3) 0 1,157
Survey (type 4) 37 11,350
Total 400 96,635

Totals by Status

Status Number of terms
Active 88,192
Deprecated 3,722
Discouraged 1,474
Trial 3,247

Term Status changes

Old Status New Status Number of terms Type
Deprecated Active 2 1 Lab, 1 Clinical
Trial Active 225 28 Lab, 162 Clinical, 35 Survey

Edits by change type

Change type (field name CHNG_TYP) CHNG_TYP definition Number of terms
NAM Component update 96
MAJ Update to one of 5 other primary axes other than Component 17
MIN Update to a secondary field - see Updates file Readme for the full list 436
DEL Status changed to Deprecated 0
UND Status changed from Deprecated to Active 2
PANEL Change in the child elements or conditionality of one or more child elements in the panel or a sub-panel contained in the panel 11
Total 562

New content highlights

SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19

During this release cycle we continued to prioritize creating LOINC terms and other resources related to SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 testing, clinical care, documentation, and reporting. We continued to work closely with the CDC, FDA, APHL, laboratories, IVD manufacturers, and other stakeholders to create LOINC content for SARS-CoV-2 laboratory tests.

LOINC terms related to SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 testing, ask-at-order entry questions, case reporting, clinical documentation, and surveys can be found on a dedicated webpage that supports downloads of filtered subsets of these terms (https://loinc.org/sars-cov-2-and-covid-19/). This page includes both released and pre-release terms and is updated as soon as new terms or term edits are made.

A separate page provides guidance for choosing LOINCs for SARS-CoV-2 testing and general FAQs (https://loinc.org/sars-coronavirus-2).

New laboratory content

  • 47 new microbiology terms, 6 of which are related to the pandemic virus, SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)
  • 37 new terms in each of the CHEM and PATH classes
  • 33 new allergy terms
  • Many new terms for cell markers, molecular pathology, drug/toxicology, and more

New clinical content

  • 86 new radiology terms
  • 40 new ophthalmology terms for phoropter measurements
  • 16 new audiology terms, and an additional panel for Diagnostic audiology results (98418-7)
  • 15 new terms related to pulmonary function
  • Several new clinical risk assessment and score terms, including for an amyloid plaque probability score (98138-1), the Osteoporosis Index of Risk (OIR) (98133-2), Osteoporosis Risk Assessment Instrument (ORAI) (98139-9), and Osteoporosis Self-Assessment Tool (OST) (98146-4)

New survey content

  • Two COVID-19 related panels: Post COVID-19 functional status scale (98071-4) and SARS-CoV-2-related socioeconomic questionnaire for adults (98154-8)
  • The Patient-centered disability questionnaire (98067-2)
  • Rowland Universal Dementia Assessment Scale (98093-8)
  • Child-Pugh panel (98153-0)

Term edit highlights

Changes based on internal review or as part of an ongoing project

  • Updated "distance" to "far" for Ophthalmology terms to clarify that the concepts are related to distance vision and not a length
  • Added "binocular" and "monocular" to pupillary distance terms to clarify their meaning
  • Updated "N" to "near" in Ophthalmology terms to clarify their meaning
  • Updated the scientific name for several cytokines based on current scientific nomenclature
  • Moved COVID-19 survey terms from survey-specific classes to the more encompassing SURVEY.COVID and PANEL.SURVEY.COVID
  • Removed the Method from several terms that represent generic concepts to allow broader use
  • Updated several sets of terms from TRIAL to ACTIVE status

Changes based on community input

  • Corrected several minor typos in Components and display names
  • Updated the Component name for 11633-5 to "Heart rate reactivity" (remove "Biophysical profile") since a fetal non-stress test (NST) can be done by itself or as part of a biophysical profile (BPP)
  • Updated the Required (R) value to Optional (O) in the Conditionality field for several panels and/or added additional children to allow for broader use

Source organization

LOINC version 2.71 contains copyrighted content that is used with permission from the organizations documented in the SourceOrganization table. Users of this content must follow the copyright holders' terms of use.

Change to the LOINC Table structure in this release

None

Changes to the LOINC Table structure planned for August 2022

Field Name: EXAMPLE_SI_UCUM_UNITS

Formal Definition: The Unified Code for Units of Measure (UCUM) is a code system intended to include all units of measures being contemporarily used in international science, engineering, and business. (www.unitsofmeasure.org) This field contains example units of measures for this term expressed as SI UCUM units.

Action: DELETE

Discussion: The UCUM standard contains both SI and non-SI units, and a single unit is either one or the other. A single LOINC Property will match with a specific set of UCUM units, in some cases SI and in some cases non-SI. These units are already provided in the EXAMPLE_UCUM_UNITS field and do not require a separate field. The EXAMPLE_SI_UCUM_UNITS field was emptied in the June 2021 release and will be deleted from the database on or after the August 2022 release.

Field Name: UnitsAndRange

Formal Definition: Units of measure (expressed using UCUM units) and normal ranges for physical quantities and survey scores. Intended as tailorable starter sets for applications that use LOINC forms as a way to capture data. Units are separated from normal ranges by a colon (:) and sets of unit:normal range pairs are separated by a semi-colon (;). Syntax for the normal range includes square brackets, which mean that the number adjacent to the bracket is included, and parentheses, which means that the number itself is not included. For example, [2,4] means “two to four”, while [2,4) means “two to less than four” and (2,4) means “between two and four but does not include two and four”.

Action: DELETE

Discussion: This field is sparsely populated and has not been maintained over time, primarily because reference ranges can vary between laboratories based on population characteristics and other factors. This field was emptied in the June 2021 release and will be deleted from the database on or after the August 2022 release.

Field Name: SUBMITTED_UNITS

Formal Definition: Units as received from person who requested this LOINC term

Action: DELETE

Discussion: For the last several years we have included the submitted units in the EXAMPLE_UNITS field, and the SUBMITTED_UNITS field has not been consistently populated since 2012. This field was emptied in the June 2021 release and will be deleted from the database on or after the August 2022 release.

Field Name: CDISC_COMMON_TESTS

Formal Definition: "Y" in this field means that the term is a part of a subset of terms used by CDISC clinical trials.

Action: DELETE

Discussion: The CDISC_COMMON_TESTS field has not been maintained over time and has not been populated for any LOINC terms created since 2011. This field was emptied in the June 2021 release and will be deleted from the database on or after the August 2022 release.

See Appendix A in the LOINC Users' Guide for the current LOINC table structure.

Answer lists, Version 2.71

See the Readme included in the LOINC Answer download file for information about its current file structure.

This release contains all of the answer lists associated with any LOINC term published in the current release. There have been no changes other than the addition of new content since the last release.

Change snapshot, Version 1.5

See the Readme included in the LOINC Change Snapshot download file for information about its current file structure.

The LoincChangeSnapshot file contains all terms that had a change in Status between LOINC version 2.70 and version 2.71, such as from TRIAL to ACTIVE. It does not contain terms that were newly added in 2.71. In the future, this file will likely contain other types of term changes in addition to Status changes.

The PartChangeSnapshot file contains all of the Parts that had a change in Status between LOINC version 2.70 and version 2.71, such as from ACTIVE to DEPRECATED or ACTIVE to INACTIVE (see Readme for Status definitions). In the future, this file may contain other types of Part changes in addition to Status changes.

Consumer names, Version 1.5-Alpha

See the Readme included in the LOINC Consumer Name download file for information about its current file structure.

This release of the Consumer names file remains at Alpha pre-production status. It contains Consumer names for all Type 1 (Laboratory) and a subset of Type 2 (Clinical) terms in LOINC. The Consumer Names are created algorithmically based on the set of primary rules documented in the associated Readme notes.

We are in the process of removing title case from the Consumer Names, and you will see a mix of title case and non-title case in this release.

Consumer Names are intended for downstream display only and are not intended to be used at any point in the clinical workflow, or for the purpose of mapping local terms to LOINC. Their use case includes consumer-facing health and wellness applications that use LOINC to encode the underlying data.

We welcome user feedback about these names.

Document ontology, Version 2.71

See the Readme included in the LOINC Document Ontology download file for information about its current file structure.

During this release cycle, the Clinical LOINC Document Ontology Subcommittee approved several new Type of Service values, including "Pain assessment", "Arrival notification", and "Departure notification". The notification concepts were created to be consistent with existing LOINC content for notifications, but the Subcommittee plans a possible future revision of the model for notifications.

Document ontology OWL, Version 1.5-Alpha

See the Readme included in the LOINC Document Ontology OWL download file for information about its current file structure.

Version 1.5 of the Document Ontology OWL file continues at Alpha status, meaning that it is part of a testing process, and the LOINC team continues to welcome comments regarding its usability and content.

Groups, Version 2.71-Beta

See the Readme included in the LOINC Group download file for information about its current file structure.

This release of the Group file remains at Beta pre-production status. We received no significant public comments about its contents, structure, or utility that we would have used as the basis for incrementing its maturity level or conceptualization. If you are using this file and have feedback (good or bad), please contact us at https://loinc.org/contact.

In this release, the individual Social Determinants of Health groups for Community, Economics, Food, etc. were consolidated into a single SDOH group. This was done because every LOINC term related to SDOH does not necessarily fall into a single category, and different organizations use different categories. Consolidating to a single group will make it easier for users to find all of the relevant terms.

1. The LOINC Groups project is a work in progress. The contents of this file may change from release to release as we receive feedback from users and refine our processes. 2. The contents of the file and the groupings MUST be validated by the user prior to implementation in any aspect of clinical care. We have created Groups that may be useful in specific contexts, but these Groups have not been vetted for use in either patient care or research and should be used with caution.

Imaging document codes, Version 1.16

See the Readme included in the LOINC Imaging Document Codes download file for information about its current file structure and query used to generate the set of LOINC codes.‌

There have been no changes other than the addition of new content since the last release.

Linguistic variants, Version 3.4

See the Readme included in the LOINC Linguistic Variants download file for information about its current file structure.

Updated linguistic variants are generally based on the previous release version (i.e., LOINC version 2.70 is translated for inclusion in the 2.71 release).

The producers of the translation have provided updated content to include in the LOINC 2.71 release for the following linguistic variants:

  • de_AT_24 - German (AUSTRIA)
  • fr_CA_8 - French (CANADA)
  • it_IT_16 - Italian (ITALY)
  • nl_NL_22 - Dutch (NETHERLANDS)

The table below shows the LOINC version when each linguistic variant included in this release was last updated.

Linguistic variant Version last updated
Chinese (CHINA) 2.70
Dutch (NETHERLANDS) 2.71
Estonian (ESTONIA) 2.23
French (BELGIUM) 2.47
French (CANADA) 2.71
French (FRANCE) 2.70
German (AUSTRIA) 2.71
German (GERMANY) 2.68
Greek (GREECE) 2.34
Italian (ITALY) 2.71
Korean (KOREA, REPUBLIC OF) 2.27
Portuguese (BRAZIL) 2.51
Russian (RUSSIAN FEDERATION) 2.65
Spanish (ARGENTINA) 2.15
Spanish (SPAIN) 2.70
Turkish (TURKEY) 2.56

Please note that some term translations are based on the translation of Parts. For such translations, even if no additional Part translations were provided by the producer, the number of translated terms may vary from release to release because new LOINC terms using previously translated Parts will also be included, and old LOINC terms that have been updated to use untranslated Parts will be excluded.

LOINC/IEEE Medical Device Code Mapping Table, Version 3.4

See the Readme included in the LOINC/IEEE Medical Device Code Mapping Table download file for information about its current file structure.

There have been no changes to the structure or contents of this file since the LOINC 2.67 release in December 2019.

LOINC/RSNA Radiology Playbook, Version 2.71

See the Readme included in the LOINC/RSNA Radiology Playbook download file for information about its current file structure.

There have been no changes other than the addition of new content since the last release.

The mappings to and content from the RSNA Playbook are based on version 2.4 of that terminology, and Radiology Part mappings are based on RadLex version 4.1 and pre-release 4.2.

We are still seeking feedback on the usefulness of the PartSequenceOrder field from anybody who is utilizing this file to help inform our future efforts, e.g., whether we should remove this field.

Known issues: Parsing issue for terms with multiple Aggregation or View type values in which one or more values is not being assigned the correct PartSequenceOrder value. We plan to address the parsing procedure in a future release if necessary, depending on whether users find this field useful (see request for feedback above).

A few outstanding cases for LOINC Radiology Parts without mappings to RadLex RIDs exists. We plan to review these with RSNA and add mappings, as appropriate, in a future release.

Terms with XXX (meaning Unspecified) as the Region Imaged without an Imaging focus do not have an Anatomy attribute (Region imaged or Imaging focus) represented in the file. The LOINC/RSNA Committee is reviewing the representation of XXX without a specified imaging focus in the LOINC/RSNA model to determine how the Anatomy should be represented.

LOINC Universal Lab Orders Value Set, Version 2.2

See the Readme included in the LOINC Universal Lab Orders Value Set download file for information about its current file structure.

There have been no changes to this file since the last release.

Multiaxial Hierarchy, Version 3.5

See the Readme included in the LOINC Multiaxial Hierarchy download file for information about its current file structure.

There have been no changes other than the addition of new content since the last release.

Panels and Forms, Version 3.6

See the Readme included in the LOINC Panels and Forms download file for information about its current file structure.

There have been no changes to this file other than the addition of new content since the last release.

Parts, Version 5.3

See the Readme included in the LOINC Part download file for information about its current file structure.

This file contains all of the parts associated with any LOINC term published in the current release. Note that it does not contain Multiaxial parts that are used to organize terms in the Multiaxial hierarchy.

There have been no changes to this file other than the addition of new content since the last release.

The LoincPartLink_Supplementary file exceeds the row capacity of Excel and LibreOffice.

Updates, Version 2.71

See the Readme included in the LOINC Updates download file for information about its current file structure.

For this release and going forward, the CHANGE_REASON_PUBLIC and STATUS_TEXT fields will no longer be considered when determining if a LOINC term has been updated because they contain information for users about term edits but are not directly related to the attributes of a term.

Knowledge Base

Users’ Guide

Search Syntax

RELMA

FAQ