Utility of a Computerized ICD-10 Algorithm to Identify Idiosyncratic Drug-Induced Liver Injury Cases in the Electronic Medical Record

Drug Saf. 2020 Apr;43(4):371-377. doi: 10.1007/s40264-019-00903-5.


Introduction: Idiosyncratic drug-induced liver injury (DILI) is an important cause of liver injury that is difficult to diagnose and identify in the electronic medical record (EMR).

Objective: Our objective was to develop a computerized algorithm that can reliably identify DILI cases from the EMR.

Methods: The EMR was searched for all encounters with an International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) T code for drug toxicity and a K-71 code for toxic liver injury between 1 October 2015 and 30 September 2018. Clinically significant liver injury was defined using predetermined laboratory values. An expert opinion causality score (1-3 = probable DILI, 4/5 = non-DILI), Roussel Uclaf Causality Assessment Method (RUCAM) score, and severity score was assigned to each case.

Results: Among the 1,211,787 encounters searched, 517 had both an ICD-10 T code and a K-71 code, with 257 patients meeting the laboratory criteria. After excluding 75 cases of acetaminophen hepatotoxicity, the final study sample included 182 cases of potential DILI, with antineoplastics and antibiotics being the most frequently implicated agents. Causality assessment identified probable DILI in 121 patients (66.5%), whereas 61 (33.5%) had an alternative cause of liver injury. Although age, sex, race, and suspect drugs were similar, the probable DILI cases were more likely to present with a hepatocellular injury profile and have more severe liver injury than the non-DILI cases (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: A computerized algorithm based on a combination of ICD-10 codes identified 182 potential DILI cases with 121 true positives, 61 false positives, and a positive predictive value of 66.5%. Future studies incorporating natural language processing may further improve the utility of this algorithm in identifying high-causality idiosyncratic DILI cases.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury* / diagnosis
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury* / epidemiology
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury* / etiology
  • Databases, Factual / statistics & numerical data*
  • Electronic Health Records*
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • International Classification of Diseases*
  • Liver Function Tests
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • United States