Using SNOMED CT in combination with MedDRA for reporting signal detection and adverse drug reactions reporting

AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2009 Nov 14;2009:45-9.


Objective: To investigate the feasibility of using SNOMED CT as an entry point for coding adverse drug reactions and map them automatically to MedDRA for reporting purposes and interoperability with legacy repositories.

Methods: On the one hand, we attempt to map SNOMED CT concepts to MedDRA concepts through the UMLS, using synonymy and explicit mapping relations. On the other, we compute the set of all fine-grained concepts that can be reached from concepts having a mapping to MedDRA.

Results: 58% of the Preferred Terms in MedDRA have a mapping to SNOMED CT. Through the descendants in SNOMED CT, 108,305 additional SNOMED CT concepts can be linked to MedDRA.

Conclusions: Fine-grained SNOMED CT concepts can be mapped automatically to MedDRA. This approach has the potential to enable the collection of adverse events related to drugs directly from clinical repositories. The quality of the mapping needs to be evaluated.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adverse Drug Reaction Reporting Systems*
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / classification*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine*
  • Systems Integration
  • Terminology as Topic
  • Unified Medical Language System*
  • Vocabulary, Controlled*