Standardizing terms for clinical pharmacogenetic test results: consensus terms from the Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium (CPIC)

Genet Med. 2017 Feb;19(2):215-223. doi: 10.1038/gim.2016.87. Epub 2016 Jul 21.


Introduction: Reporting and sharing pharmacogenetic test results across clinical laboratories and electronic health records is a crucial step toward the implementation of clinical pharmacogenetics, but allele function and phenotype terms are not standardized. Our goal was to develop terms that can be broadly applied to characterize pharmacogenetic allele function and inferred phenotypes.

Materials and methods: Terms currently used by genetic testing laboratories and in the literature were identified. The Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium (CPIC) used the Delphi method to obtain a consensus and agree on uniform terms among pharmacogenetic experts.

Results: Experts with diverse involvement in at least one area of pharmacogenetics (clinicians, researchers, genetic testing laboratorians, pharmacogenetics implementers, and clinical informaticians; n = 58) participated. After completion of five surveys, a consensus (>70%) was reached with 90% of experts agreeing to the final sets of pharmacogenetic terms.

Discussion: The proposed standardized pharmacogenetic terms will improve the understanding and interpretation of pharmacogenetic tests and reduce confusion by maintaining consistent nomenclature. These standard terms can also facilitate pharmacogenetic data sharing across diverse electronic health care record systems with clinical decision support.Genet Med 19 2, 215-223.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Electronic Health Records / standards
  • Genetic Testing / standards*
  • Humans
  • Pharmacogenetics / standards*
  • Phenotype
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Terminology as Topic*