LOINC Version 2.44 and RELMA Version 6.2 Available

Download Current Versions

LOINC 2.63
Released 2017-12-15

RELMA 6.22
Released 2017-12-15

Current versions of LOINC and RELMA released June 29, 2013.

LOINC version 2.44 is our best release yet

New content

LOINC version 2.44 contains 72,625 terms, an increase of 1,161 since the December 2012 version. Approximately 2,408 terms have been edited. A total of 2,168 terms have been deprecated.

Some of the new content highlights in this version:

  • Over 600 drug induced platelet and neutrophil antibody terms
  • More than 100 terms for antibiotic susceptibility testing
  • Over 80 terms in toxicology, primarily related to synthetic cannabinoid testing
  • New codes for the 2003 version of US Standard Birth Certificate and Fetal Death Report panels, LOINCs 68988-4 and 69045-3
  • New codes for newborn hearing and critical congenital heart disease (CCHD) screening, added to the American Health Information Community (AHIC) newborn screening panel, LOINC 54089-8
  • Terms for the Neonatal Skin Risk Assessment Scale (NSRAS), LOINC 73790-8

LOINC 2.44 also includes two major types of content edits:

  • We have made many edits as part of our ongoing effort to replace our temporary, "placeholder" use of ACnc for ordinal terms with more appropriate properties of Pr or Threshold (as described in the LOINC Users' Guide). Approximately 560 blood bank terms were changed from ACnc to Pr to reflect the new model for ordinal terms where results are reported as present or absent. Over 965 Drug/Tox terms were changed from ACnc to Threshold, since the reported results are based on an internal cutoff or threshold value.
  • For consistency and uniformity, we are replacing some extended ASCII and UNICODE characters above code point 127 with more common ASCII characters, where appropriate. Many edits are simple substitutions, such as replacing left and right specific quotation marks with the equivalent ASCII quotation mark. Others involve a multi-character string replacement, like changing the ellipsis character to the "..." string or replacing the trademark symbol with "(tm)". Our new delimited text format of the LOINC table is UTF-8 CSV, and there are fields where we will specifically allow Unicode characters. For example, in the FORMULA field we use Greek alpha and beta characters to accurately represent the mathematical formula. Likewise, the EXTERNAL_COPYRIGHT_NOTICE field will contain copyright symbols (naturally). We expect to make the replacements in several iterations.

Brand new LOINC Document Ontology File added to the release distribution

We're very excited to announce that we've added a new file to the LOINC release distribution. The LOINC Document Ontology File is an an export of the LOINC terms in the Document Ontology class (DOC.CLINRPT) and the values they contain from each axis of the Document Ontology. (If you're befuddled by our reference to a Document Ontology, please review Section 7 of the LOINC Users' Guide). The axis values are identified by LOINC Part Numbers and classified according their type (Setting, TypeOfService, etc). Because some LOINC terms contain combinations of Document Ontology values from within the same axis, the PartSequenceOrder field indicates their proper order within that axis. This zip file archive contains:

  • The Document Ontology file in CSV text format with each record on a separate line (terminated by CR/LF) and each field delimited by a comma character.
  • The LOINC License in a text file format.

Look for the new LOINC Document Ontology File under Accessory Files in the release downloads

Notice of upcoming file name changes

In our ongoing effort to provide consistency and uniformity in the LOINC release artifacts, we are updating our file naming conventions. Beginning with the June 2014 release most, if not all, not all file names will use the following naming convention: LOINC_<version#>_<ArtifactLabel>.<Extension>.

For example, we expect to rename the file LOINC_242_NEWBORN_SCREENING_PANELS.zip that was included in the 2.42 release to LOINC_246_NewbornScreeningPanels.zip in the June 2014 release.

Also,  as we mentioned before, we're planning to make the CSV format the sole text format distribution as of the December 2013 release. So, start making any plans you need to say farewell to the tab-delimitted format.

RELMA + the LOINC community is a powerful combination

Tap the wisdom of the crowd

One of RELMA's most powerful features is it's connection to a shared repository of local tests and variables mapped to LOINC codes. Within RELMA you can see counts of how many other users have mapped to a particular LOINC code and the actual local names of those tests/variables and their units. RELMA also has functions to allow you to contribute your mappings back to this community repository so that others can benefit from your seeing your work. We launched this feature last December, and have continued to add new mappings into the repository.

NOTE: To unlock these features, you'll have to sign up for our study. (Yes, we're pointy-headed academics). 

Once you've joined the study on the website and logged into RELMA, the search grid will show two new columns. ComMaps displays the count of local codes from the Community repository mapped to that LOINC. ComInst shows the number of institutions from the Community repository that have mapped to that LOINC code. Both of these counts appear as a hyperlink, which if clicked will take you to a details page showing all the local codes in the repository mapped to that LOINC.

When you've mapped a sufficient number of your local tests to LOINC, an "Upload Mappings" link will appear in the login bar that will allow you to contribute your mappings back into the community repository.

It's all pretty awesome, really.

Also, please consider contributing your local code to LOINC mappings back to the shared repository, either using RELMA itself or just sending them to us in a spreadsheet.

Other cool stuff we packed into this release

  • You can now delete a local term file (working set). And there was much rejoicing!
  • You can now export your local term file to Excel (and delimited formats)
  • You can now filter your search results based on the new Special Use field
    • There are currently five categories that we have populated with a “starter set” of terms:
      • Honorary terms: terms we created “in jest” to honor special people from the LOINC community (i.e. Jaci Phillips and Kathy Mercer)
      • Restricted use laboratory order terms: terms for use in ordering that are ambiguous with respect to some attributes of the LOINC name
      • Public health terms: terms that are for use in the context of public health only, and would not be used in a routine clinical laboratories
      • Internal laboratory use terms: terms that might be used in exchanges within a laboratory but are not reported externally as clinical results
      • Veterinary terms: terms for tests that are not performed on humans
    • We welcome suggestions on other terms that should have one (or more) of these designations, and expect to continue adding these "tag" designations to existing terms as we find them.
  • We have made a relatively major reconfiguration of the Search Limits screen, with the goal of improving the clarity about what these things do
  • We added many reference sources to the indexed "description" field, so that you can now search within a text description. For example, try:
    description:“isoleucine catabolism”

    Adding these references resulted in a substantial increase in the disk space RELMA needs (but that’s cheap these days, right?)

  • Navigation through your local term file now works based on the sort order of the grid in the “View All Working Set Terms” tab. (Before it was just the order in the DB and you couldn’t change it).
  • There are a ton of other bug fixes and optimizations (see the RELMA Release Notes for the full details)

Language Translations

  • Brand new for this release: Russian (Russian Federation)
  • Updated in this release: French (Canada), French (France), Spanish (Spain), Turkish (Turkey)

Updated LOINC and RELMA License

We've updated the LOINC and RELMA license with just one main change, and that is to mention our LOINC Document Ontology File (described above).