LOINC Release Notes, December 2020 (Version 2.69)

For information about artifacts that are available as independent downloads, including the Part file, Answer file, Consumer Name file, and many others, please see the specific ReleaseNotes and ReadMe documentation included with each.


New terms and totals by type

Type New terms Total
Laboratory (type 1) 709 57,817
Clinical (type 2) 368 24,810
Attachments (type 3) 0 1,157
Survey (type 4) 218 11,111
Total 1,295 94,895

Term Status changes

Old Status New Status Number of terms Type
Active Discouraged 23 22 Lab, 1 Survey
Active Deprecated 4 1 Lab, 2 Clinical, 1 Survey
Trial Active 83 45 Lab, 38 Clinical
Trial Discouraged 2 Clinical
Discouraged Active 1 Lab
Deprecated Active 9 Document Ontology

Totals by Status

Status Number of terms
Active 86,164
Deprecated 3,718
Discouraged 1,471
Trial 3,542

Edits by change type

Change type (field name CHNG_TYP) CHNG_TYP definition Number of terms
NAM Component update 152
MAJ Update to one of 5 other primary axes other than Component 69
MIN Update to a secondary field - see Updates file Readme for the full list 7,059
DEL Status changed to Deprecated 4
UND Status changed from Deprecated to Active 9
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 88
Total 7,381

New content highlights


During this release cycle we continued to prioritize creating LOINC terms and other resources related to SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 testing, 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, including molecular, antigen, antibody, and culture.

We have updated SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 content almost weekly since January, and sometimes more frequently. All of the LOINC terms related to SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 testing can continue to 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

  • 223 new microbiology terms, 34 of which report on the pandemic virus, SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)
  • Over 100 new terms in the chemistry class
  • More than 60 new HLA terms covering low and high resolution molecular typing
  • Nearly 50 new allergy terms plus new terms in blood bank, serology, coagulation, cell markers, drug/tox and more

New clinical content

  • 15 new codes created for, but not limited to, WHO COVID-19 case reporting data elements
  • 37 new codes created for, but not limited to, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Public Health Emergency Operations Center (PH EOC) minimum data set (MDS) (89724-9)
  • 52 new Electroretinogram codes
  • A panel to represent the Neonatal pain, agitation, & sedation scale panel (95620-1)
  • Two panels related to wound classification: Wound, ischemia, and foot infection classification system panel (96036-9), and University of Texas diabetic wound classification system panel (96106-0)

New survey content

  • 45 new codes created for CMS Assessments
  • 60 new codes created for three versions of Skindex Instruments
  • 74 new codes created for the National Institute on Drug Abuse

Term edit highlights

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

  • Updated the Long Common Name and Short Name for most terms with System XXX to include "Specimen" and "Spec" instead of "Unspecified specimen" and "XXX", respectively. For example, the Long Common Name for 23749-5 was changed from "Lead [Mass/volume] in Unspecified specimen" to "Lead [Mass/volume] in Specimen". This change is meant to avoid confusion around the use of "Unspecified" because at the point of resulting, the specimen is not unspecified, but rather is specified elsewhere with the result. This change was approved by the Laboratory LOINC Committee in October 2020.
  • Updated several terms in the PHENX Class and moved them to a more representative Class
  • Updated the System for several ophthalmology terms from "Glasses.left" and "Glasses.right" to "Corrective lens.left" and "Corrective lens.right", respectively
  • Updated the System for several terms representing viral susceptibility by genotyping from "Isolate/Specimen" to "Isolate", because the susceptibility is of the viral isolate to the drug, not of the specimen to the drug
  • Corrected TALLMAN lettering for several Components

Changes based on community input

  • We updated the example UCUM values in the LOINC table for a subset of LOINC terms and would like to acknowledge the contributions of the following groups towards this work: 1) the National Library of Medicine; and 2) Tell Bennett M.D., Jacob Wooldridge M.D., Stephanie Hong, Harold Lehmann M.D., Ph.D., Joel Saltz M.D., Ph.D., Richard Moffitt Ph.D., Davera Gabriel R.N., Janos Hajagos Ph.D., Melissa Haendel Ph.D., and Christopher Chute M.D. Dr.PH (N3C); Guoqian Jiang M.D. Ph.D. and Yue Yu, Ph.D. (Mayo Clinic); Benjamin Amor Ph.D., Andrew Girvin Ph.D. and Kate Bradwell Ph.D. (Palantir) and Ken Gersing M.D. (NCATS).
  • Updated several blood bank terms
  • Made several spelling corrections, including correcting "lutenizing" to "luteinizing" for a large number of terms
  • Updated the R/O/C conditionality statuses in various panels to make them more inclusive
  • Added additional children to several panels to broaden usage across laboratories
  • Changed Component naming of "Norvenlafaxine" to "O-desmethylvenlafaxine" to clarify the form of this analyte that is measured in assays

Source Organization updates

LOINC version 2.69 contains copyrighted content that is used with permission from the organizations documented in the SourceOrganization table. The SourceOrganization table contains 119 rows of data; some organizations are associated with multiple content areas and therefore are represented in multiple rows with unique ID and COPYRIGHT_ID values. Six (6) new unique Source Organizations have been added for version 2.69. URLs for a number of Source Organizations were modified or removed if inactive.

Files we have removed from the LOINC release

1) Common UCUM codes: this file has moved to a new page on the UCUM website. We removed it from the LOINC release because the contents are not specific to LOINC.

2) LOINC Top 2000+ Lab Observations File and Mapper's Guide: this file has not been updated since LOINC release 2.64. It is still available on the LOINC website, but we decided not to include it in the LOINC release since it is not being updated. We continue to explore new ways to present a common subset of LOINC terms based on more recent lab test frequency data.

Change to the LOINC Table structure

Field Name: SPECIES
Formal Definition: Codes detailing which non-human species the term applies to. If blank, "human" is assumed.
Action: DELETE

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