Using LOINC to link 10 terminology standards to one unified standard in a specialized domain

J Biomed Inform. 2012 Aug;45(4):674-82. doi: 10.1016/j.jbi.2011.10.003. Epub 2011 Oct 19.


Despite the existence of multiple standards for the coding of biomedical data and the known benefits of doing so, there remain a myriad of biomedical information domain spaces that are essentially un-coded and unstandardized. Perhaps a worse situation is when the same or similar information in a given domain is coded to a variety of different standards. Such is the case with cephalometrics - standardized measurements of angles and distances between specified landmarks on X-ray film used for orthodontic treatment planning and a variety of research applications. We describe how we unified the existing cephalometric definitions from 10 existing cephalometric standards to one unifying terminology set using an existing standard (LOINC). Using our example of an open and web-based orthodontic case file system, we describe how this work benefited our project and discuss how adopting or expanding established standards can benefit other similar projects in specialized domains.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Anatomic Landmarks
  • Cephalometry*
  • Humans
  • Information Storage and Retrieval
  • Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes*
  • Skull / anatomy & histology
  • Systems Integration
  • Terminology as Topic*