Protégé: a tool for managing and using terminology in radiology applications

J Digit Imaging. 2007 Nov;20 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):34-46. doi: 10.1007/s10278-007-9065-0. Epub 2007 Aug 9.


The development of standard terminologies such as RadLex is becoming important in radiology applications, such as structured reporting, teaching file authoring, report indexing, and text mining. The development and maintenance of these terminologies are challenging, however, because there are few specialized tools to help developers to browse, visualize, and edit large taxonomies. Protégé ( ) is an open-source tool that allows developers to create and to manage terminologies and ontologies. It is more than a terminology-editing tool, as it also provides a platform for developers to use the terminologies in end-user applications. There are more than 70,000 registered users of Protégé who are using the system to manage terminologies and ontologies in many different domains. The RadLex project has recently adopted Protégé for managing its radiology terminology. Protégé provides several features particularly useful to managing radiology terminologies: an intuitive graphical user interface for navigating large taxonomies, visualization components for viewing complex term relationships, and a programming interface so developers can create terminology-driven radiology applications. In addition, Protégé has an extensible plug-in architecture, and its large user community has contributed a rich library of components and extensions that provide much additional useful functionalities. In this report, we describe Protégé's features and its particular advantages in the radiology domain in the creation, maintenance, and use of radiology terminology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Computer Graphics
  • Computer Systems
  • Database Management Systems* / organization & administration
  • Feedback
  • Humans
  • Information Storage and Retrieval
  • Knowledge Bases
  • Radiology Information Systems* / organization & administration
  • Software Design
  • Software*
  • Systems Integration
  • Terminology as Topic*
  • User-Computer Interface