LOINC version 2.69 and RELMA version 7.2 are here! Highlights from this release are described below, and we encourage you to read the individual Release and Readme notes for more details. Remember, the LOINC Release notes contain information about changes to content in the LOINC table, and the file-specific notes included with each artifact (Parts, Groups, etc.) have information related to that artifact.
- The numbers
- New SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 content
- Other new content and existing term edits
- NEW SearchLOINC Beta release!
- LOINC FHIR Terminology Services API updates
- RELMA version 7.2
- LOINC Linguistic Variant updates
- LOINC Knowledge base
- Files removed from the release
- SPECIES field removed from LOINC table
First, a THANK YOU to the entire LOINC team, for continuing to work so hard during the pandemic and putting together another outstanding release!
LOINC 2.69 Numbers
1295 new terms (94895 total)
- Laboratory (Type 1): 709 new (57817 total)
- Clinical (Type 2): 368 new (24810 total)
- Attachments (Type 3): 0 new (1157 total)
- Survey (Type 4): 218 new (11111 total)
122 term status changes
- 23 ACTIVE → DISCOURAGED
- 4 ACTIVE → DEPRECATED
- 83 TRIAL → ACTIVE
- 2 TRIAL → DISCOURAGED
- 1 DISCOURAGED → ACTIVE
- 9 DEPRECATED → ACTIVE
7381 term edits (See Updates file for details)
- 152 NAM (Component update)
- 69 MAJ (Update to one of 5 other primary axes)
- 7059 MIN (Update to secondary field - see Updates file Readme for the full list)
- 4 DEL (Status changed to DEPRECATED)
- 9 UND (Status changed from DEPRECATED to ACTIVE)
- 88 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)
New SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 content
Creating LOINC terms and other resources related to SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 testing, documentation, and reporting continued to be our primary focus during this release cycle. We continued working closely with the CDC, FDA, APHL, laboratories, IVD manufacturers, and other stakeholders to create LOINC content for SARS-CoV-2 laboratory tests. LOINC order and result codes for nearly every assay approved by the FDA under Emergency Use Authorization are available on the CDC website; this file is updated weekly.
In addition, we updated the CDC Public Health Emergency Operations Center (PH EOC) minimum data set (MDS) to include data elements related to COVID-19 reporting, and also created new LOINC terms to support the World Health Organization's COVID-19 case reporting form.
We have updated SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 content almost weekly since January, and all of the LOINC terms related to SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 testing, both released and pre-release, are available on a dedicated webpage that supports downloads of filtered subsets of these terms.
Groups for SARS-CoV-2
The 3 Groups and FHIR ValueSet that were created in the 2.68 release specifically for SARS-CoV-2 laboratory terms and public health case reporting, respectively, have been updated with new terms created during this release cycle:
- Parent LG51014-5/Group LG51017-8 (SARSCoV2 detection) contains all LOINC terms related to detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, including molecular, antigen, and culture terms
- Parent LG51016-0/Group LG51019-4 (SARSCoV2 molecular detection) contains all LOINC terms for molecular detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus
- Parent LG51015-2/Group LG51018-6 (SARSCoV2 antibody detection) contains all LOINC terms for SARS-CoV-2 serology testing
- FHIR ValueSet for public health reporting: http://loinc.org/vs/loincs-related-to-public-health-case-reporting.
The 3 Groups and value set are described on the FHIR terminology services page.
Other new content and edits to existing content
For details about other new content and content edits, please see the LOINC Release Notes. These are included with the LOINC download and RELMA, and now for the first time, are available in the LOINC Knowledge base.
Beta release of new SearchLOINC
We are very excited to announce the public BETA release of our new SearchLOINC application!
With this new application, you can not only search for LOINC terms, but also for Parts, Answer Lists, and Groups. Custom filters are available for each type of search, and your search history gets saved to make future searches more efficient.
We are releasing the new application in parallel with our existing SearchLOINC application, and you can use your loinc.org login for both. Following are the URLs for each:
This is a work in progress. A list of known issues and features in development is published on the Home page of the new application. You can provide comments by following the instructions on the application's Feedback page.
Thank you to the beta testers who have already shared their observations! And if you have any ideas for what the new SearchLOINC should be called, drop us a note.
What's new with the LOINC FHIR Terminology Services (TS) API
Updated LOINC content available through the API
During our release process we have loaded our FHIR terminology server with the latest content. The server currently supports CodeSystem, ValueSet, ConceptMap, and Questionnaire resources.
Versioning coming soon...
We are in the process of implementing versioning as part of our FHIR TS. Versioning will allow us to publish previous versions of LOINC as well as pre-release terms simultaneously with the current release. We are working through a few implementation issues and will make an announcement when versioning is available.
Find more information about LOINC's FHIR TS at https://loinc.org/fhir
There are no significant upgrades to RELMA with the 7.2 release. Over the next few years, we will be working to migrate features that are currently only available in RELMA, such as mapping assistance and hierarchy browsing, to an online platform. Once those features have been migrated, we plan to retire the existing RELMA program.
The global community of LOINC users continues to help produce a wonderful collection of translations. These linguistic variants (we support multiple translations of the same language) are available in RELMA, the online application, and in the LOINC Linguistic Variants File.
Updated Linguistic Variants in this release:
- de_AT_24 - German (AUSTRIA)
- de_DE_15 - German (GERMANY)
- fr_CA_8 - French (CANADA)
- fr_FR_18 - French (FRANCE)
- it_IT_16 - Italian (ITALY)
- nl_NL_22 - Dutch (NETHERLANDS)
- zh_CN_5 - Chinese (CHINA)
LOINC Knowledge base
We continue to make improvements to the LOINC Knowledge base (LOINC KB). During this cycle, we added a page containing acronyms and abbreviations used in LOINC Parts, such as Property, Challenge, and Class. Previously we had a similar list in the LOINC Users' Guide, but the new page in the KB is much more comprehensive. If you have a specific abbreviation or acronym that you were looking for that is not listed on the new page, please contact us.
With the 2.69 release we also added the current LOINC Release Notes to the KB. Prior to this release the LOINC Release Notes were only available with the LOINC download or installation of RELMA, but now they are available for everyone to access.
Files removed from this release
LOINC Top 2000+ Results
The LOINC Top 2000+ file has been frozen for the last three years, and starting with this release, we have removed it from the official LOINC release. The file is still available for download on our website and we continue to explore new ways to present a common subset of LOINC terms based on more recent lab test frequency data.
LOINC Common UCUM Codes
We have removed this file from the official LOINC release because the contents are not specific to LOINC. The file is available from a new page on the UCUM website.
SPECIES field removed from LOINC table
Field Name: SPECIES
Formal Definition: Codes detailing which non-human species the term applies to. If blank, "human" is assumed.
This field has not been updated in many years. The values stored in the field were non-standard codes that are inconsistent in meaning and format. We decided that it would be better to eliminate the field rather than provide incomplete or confusing information.