Specimen concepts can be defined by attributes which specify the:

  • Normal or abnormal body structure from which they are obtained
  • Procedure used to collect the specimen
  • Source from which it was collected
  • Substance of which it is comprised

Specimen not sample in FSN

The Fully Specified Name for Specimen concepts should include the term specimen, not sample.  Because of the differentiation between specimen and sample in some domains (e.g. biobanking), an additional description using the word sample should not be added to the specimen concept.

Legacy concepts exist in SNOMED CT that contain both specimen and sample in descriptions.  Those are being retained for historical purposes.

Combined specimens and pooled specimens

A combined specimen refers to more than one specimen taken from the same subject and combined in a single container to form a single specimen.  A pooled specimen refers to specimens taken from multiple subjects and pooled (mixed) together into a single container. SNOMED CT concepts will include the appropriate term in the FSN and will not treat combined specimen and pooled specimen as synonymous.

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