German-Language Content in Biomedical Vocabularies

Stefan Schulz, Josef Ingenerf, Sylvia Thun, Philipp Daumke


There are hundreds of English-language biomedical vocabularies, but only a minor part has been translated into other languages. We performed a sur-vey of localized German content in biomedical vocabularies, based on the au-thors' past experiences, web search, and analysis of the UMLS Metathesaurus. As a result we found German versions for fourteen medical terminologies in a strict sense. ICD 10 (International Classification of Diseases) for disease and OPS (Operationen- und Prozedurenschlüssel) for procedure encoding play a prominent role, as both are used in the German patient classification system. In-terestingly they exceed in content and coverage the international sources they had been derived from. German content is also available for ICD-O (oncology), the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH), the Medical Dictionary for Regulatory Activities (MedDRA), the Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC), the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System (ATC), and the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). From the SNOMED (Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine) family German translations have been created for SNOMED 3, SNOMED CT, and the Wingert Nomenclature. Other sources are RADLEX for radiology terms, the lists of Standard Terms of the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines & HealthCare (EDQM), the Unified Code for Units of Measure (UCUM), the In-ternational Classification of Primary Care (ICPC), and the International Classi-fication of Nursing Practice. Partly relevant as sources for German medical terminology are fee catalogues for reimbursement like EBM and GOÄ. Medically relevant content is also pro-vided by catalogues for medical devices such as contained in eCl@ss. Latin terms, which still matter in German medical text are available for organisms and anatomy from the NCBI taxonomy and the Terminologia Anatomica, re-spectively. Lay terms can be found in domain-independent terminology sources like GermaNet. No localised versions exist exclusively biological content such as the OBO Foundry and the NCBO BioPortal ontologies, although German terms occasionally appear as synonyms in an unsystematic way. The most important German terminology systems are made available by DIMDI, the German Institute for Medical Documentation and Information. A severe drawback is that the German SNOMED CT translation, which - accord-ing to its size (roughly 300,000 concepts) - exceeds by far, all other German medical vocabularies - is outdated and not officially available. A general observation was that many of the localized versions lag behind the original version and are less rich in synonymous expressions, scope notes and definitions. German-language content in biomedical vocabularies. Available from: [accessed May 26 2018].
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 09.2013
VeranstaltungCLEF 2013
- Valencia, Spanien
Dauer: 23.09.201326.09.2013

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