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Page At A Glance
Table Of Contents
SNOMED CT terminology provides a common language that enables a consistent way of indexing, storing, retrieving, and aggregating clinical data across specialties and sites of care.
SNOMED International maintains the SNOMED CT technical design, the content architecture, the SNOMED CT content (includes the concepts table, the descriptions table, the relationships table, a history table, and ICD mappings), and related technical documentation.
This document provides a summarized description of the content changes included in the July 2022 release of SNOMED Clinical Terms® (SCT) International Release.
It also includes technical notes detailing the known content or technical issues where the root cause is understood, the fix has been discussed and agreed to, but has yet to be implemented.
The SNOMED International Release Notes are available alongside the July 2022 International release.
This document is written for the purpose described above and is not intended to provide details of the technical specifications for SNOMED CT or encompass every change made during the release.
The audience includes National Release Centers, WHO-FIC release centers, vendors of electronic health records, terminology developers and managers who wish to have an understanding of changes that have been incorporated into the July 2022 International release.
Please note, you may have to register for a Confluence user account in order to access the links included in these release notes.
1.5. Changes to the International Edition Release Schedule
SNOMED International have transitioned to a more frequent (monthly) delivery schedule for the International Edition of SNOMED CT. The move towards more frequent releases of SNOMED CT has realised several benefits, including:
- The potential to be able to get content changes into the terminology in a shorter time frame.
- The fostering of better interoperability, as a result of entities being able to consume release content that is more aligned with other organizations.
- The prevention of circular dependencies that occur in longer projects, due to the move towards smaller, more manageable authoring projects.
- More automated validation services, as a result of the inherent removal of the Alpha/Beta stages in the Release cycle.
Whilst most users will continue unaffected (as they can simply continue to download the releases every 6 months in January/July as always), this transition necessarily involved a few changes to process/packages:
- The Member Release period is no longer be required within the new rapid monthly release schedules. If you would like to continue assisting in the validation efforts of SNOMED CT there are other ways in which you can help - please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
- Delta files have been removed from the release package - a Delta Generation service will be provided for those who need it. The Delta Generation Tool allows users to create their own Delta between two fixed release dates - you can find it here:
- The ICD-0/ICD-10 Maps will continue to be published in each Monthly International Edition release package (in line with that month's content) for the foreseeable future, unless we experience issues with the new process in Production, and they need to be removed at a later date.
NOTE: SNOMED International worked closely with Members over the past couple of years to better understand the impact of the proposed model, and have incorporated feedback into the new processes. This was designed to prevent any adverse impact to users, however if you have any further questions or concerns please see the FAQ's here, or contact us on email@example.com.
2. Content Development Activity
Continuous quality improvement and enhancement of existing content is an ongoing process undertaken by SNOMED International in preparation for every release. The July 2022 International Release has seen a continuation of the work driven by contributions from: Kaiser Permanente i.e. Convergent Medical Terminology (CMT), Global Medical Device Nomenclature Agency (GMDNA), Orphanet and other domain specific collaborations as well as requests received via the Content Request System (CRS).
Additionally quality improvement activities are advanced via project driven initiatives summarized below. Additional work items impacting every release are updates to the SNOMED CT derived maps such as ICD-10 and ICD-O; details are included in these release notes.
2.2. Updates for Concept Inactivation Values
Please see editorial guidance for changes to concept inactivation values here.
2.3. Quality Initiative
The Quality Initiative (QI) project is the implementation of the Quality Strategy. After a successful pilot project for the July 2018 release the next stage has been implemented for subsequent releases including July 2022.
Quality improvement tasks were deployed to improve internal structural consistency and ensure compliance with editorial policy related to the stated modeling of content. Additionally, correction or addition of defining relationships was carried out to accurately reflect current clinical knowledge and ensure the semantic reliability of descriptions associated with a concept.
Changes made for the Quality Initiative for the July 2022 release are detailed below.
2.3.1. Descriptions update for 128462008 |Secondary malignant neoplastic disease (disorder)| Hierarchy
For consistency of descriptions, 128462008 |Secondary malignant neoplastic disease (disorder)| and its subtypes will have their Fully Specified Name and Preferred Term with 'secondary' changed to 'metastatic' retaining the 'secondary' description as a synonym. The descriptions with 'secondary' will be inactivated and not the concept. Editorial Guidance will be provided.
2.3.2. Complex Flap Procedures
As part of the QI project, work continues to remodel complex flap procedures. This includes some procedures that are subtypes of 234890003 |Repair of cleft palate (procedure)| and also focusing on relevant concepts that are subtypes of 234647001 |Repair of cleft lip (procedure)|. In order to sufficiently define these procedure concepts some improvements have been made to the hierarchy of 87979003 |Cleft palate (disorder)| with the addition of defining relationships.
2.4. Body Structure
2.4.1. Alveolar Ridge/Process
After consultation with the Dentistry CRG, the terms 'alveolar ridge' and 'alveolar process' are considered synonymous. Body structure concepts have been changed to reflect this.
9 concepts have been inactivated.
2.4.2. Revision of Male Internal Genital Organ
Revision of 16 concepts related to male internal genital organs.
2.4.3. SEP and Laterality Anatomy Reference Sets
Updated and validated release file for the lateralizable body structure reference set.
Updated and validated release files for the SEP refsets.
2.5. Clinical Finding
NOTE: 'Co-occurrent and due to' pattern:
During the implementation of the new Description Logic features, a conflict was uncovered between the modeling of 'Co-occurrent and due to' and General Concept Inclusions (GCIs). This has resulted in the need to reconsider the modeling of "Co-occurrent and due to' and update the Editorial Guide for this area.
The Editorial Guide and all concepts that are currently modeled as 'Co-occurrent and due to' will be updated over future release cycles.
NOTE: Disorder X without Disorder Y
The vast majority of existing X without Y concepts originated from ICD-9 with the specific meaning of "X disorder without mention of Y disorder". As the phraseology indicates a lack of data about disorder Y as opposed to a specific exclusion, this type of concept has not been included in ICD-10, nor proposed for ICD-11, except in the case of "Traumatic brain injury without open intracranial wound".
Addition of new X without Y concepts may only be made under the following conditions:
For the most part, existing X without Y concepts will be inactivated as AMBIGUOUS with a historical MAY BE relationship to "X disorder". Exceptions to inactivation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
2.6.1. Has Intent - Diagnostic or Therapeutic
Following completion of the inactivation of endoscopy content stating intent as diagnostic and therapeutic, work has commenced on the inactivation of other concepts with descriptions that refer to the intent of a procedure as diagnostic or therapeutic. The inactivation reason is non-conformance to editorial policy with a historical association of “REPLACED_BY” to an appropriate target replacement concept. The exceptions to this approach would be those procedures that differ in what is actually done depending on whether the intent is diagnostic or therapeutic. This was agreed upon with Member Forum and the Content Managers Advisory Group. This work will take place over several monthly releases beginning with diagnostic procedures.
Updated terming for descriptions containing Haemophilus influenzae types “a” to “f” such that concepts in other hierarchies are consistent with the terming of associated concepts in the Organism hierarchy, which is the source of truth as specified in the general naming guidelines.
2.8. Metadata Concept Inactivation
After consultation, the following metadata concepts have been inactivated for the July 2022 Release:
- 741068007 |SNOMED CT to European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines & HealthCare simple map reference set (foundation metadata concept)|
- 735233007 |European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines & HealthCare simple map reference set module (core metadata concept)|
- 762959004 |European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines & HealthCare to SNOMED CT simple map reference set (foundation metadata concept)|
- 733900009 |SNOMED CT to Unified Code for Units of Measure simple map reference set (foundation metadata concept)|
- 741814003 |SNOMED CT to Unified Code for Units of Measure simple map reference set module (core metadata concept)|
2.9. Qualifier Value
2.9.1. Gene Product
6 new qualifier value concepts have been added for gene product metabolizing enzyme activity descriptors.
NOTE: Planned Inactivation of 260299005 |Number (qualifier value)| and Descendants
Following the deployment of the concrete domain functionality in SNOMED CT, concepts in the 260299005 |Number (qualifier value)| hierarchy are no longer necessary and plans have been made for their inactivation. To provide adequate time for any national extension or implementation affected by this change, concepts in the 260299005 |Number (qualifier value)| hierarchy will be inactivated in the January 2023 International Release.
Concepts will be inactivated with reason “Non-conformance to editorial policy” and no historical relationship or replacement concept will be provided.
118586006 |Ratio (property) (qualifier value)| and descendants have been relocated to 118598001 |Property (qualifier value)| hierarchy.
272070003 |Ordinal number (qualifier value)| and descendants have been relocated to 362981000 |Qualifier value (qualifier value)| hierarchy.
A briefing note will also be distributed to selected Advisory and Project Groups.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any inquiries.
2.10.1. Analyte Substance Hierarchy Groupers
Groupers in the Substance hierarchy that refer to analyte (e.g. 259988005 |Transplantation analyte (substance)|, 312273006 |Microbiology analyte (substance)|) have been inactivated with reason Meaning unknown; no potential replacement concept has been provided.
2.11. Pharmaceutical/Biological Product
2.11.1. Dose Form Related Changes
|Description||Type of change|
|Intraocular||Existing intended site concept 762070008 |Intraocular (intended site)| has been remodeled as a descendant of 738952007 |Ocular (intended site)|. Associated pharmaceutical dose form (PDF) and clinical drug (CD) concepts have been updated accordingly.|
|Impregnated material||New basic dose form 1231762000 |Impregnated material (basic dose form)| with text definition "A solid dose form consisting of porous or absorbent material onto or into which active substance(s) are taken up or taken in, for subsequent release after administration.” has been added for the July 2022 release. Associated pharmaceutical dose form (PDF) concepts have also been added. The PDFs can be used in creation of clinical drug (CD) concepts in the International Release moving forward but no changes to existing concepts will be made unless specifically requested via CRS.|
|Intestinal||New intended site concept, 1231834000 |Intestinal (intended site)| with text definition "An intended site for a dose form that is for administration directly to the intestine (duodenum through the colon) using an appropriate device.”, has been added for the July 2022 release. Associated pharmaceutical dose form (PDF) concepts have also been added; the PDFs can be used in creation of clinical drug (CD) concepts in the International Release moving forward but no changes to existing concepts will be made unless specifically requested via CRS.|
|Mixing||New dose form transformation concept, 1231835004 |Mixing (transformation)| with text definition "Transformation of a dose form into a different dose form by combining it together with a component item." has been added for the July 2022 release. Associated pharmaceutical dose form (PDF) concepts have been added or updated accordingly. No related changes to existing clinical drug (CD) concepts is planned.|
Has administration method has been updated to 785900008 |Rinse or wash (administration method)| for mouthwash pharmaceutical dose forms.
2.12. Physical Object
2.13. Collaboration/Harmonization Agreements
2.13.1. American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) TNM allowable values
Pursuant to an agreement between the American Joint Committee on Cancer and SNOMED International, legacy TNM tumor staging findings originating from outdated editions of the AJCC tumor staging manual have been inactivated. A complete set of AJCC allowable values for tumor staging representing the current clinical and pathological TNM values as well as tumor stage groups, categories, and grades have been added to SNOMED CT as qualifier values. These are found under the grouper concept 1222584008 |American Joint Committee on Cancer allowable value (qualifier value)|.
2.13.2. Convergent Medical Terminology (CMT)
56 new concepts have been added for the July 2022 release predominantly from the domains of ophthalmology, dermatology and respiratory.
Working in collaboration with Orphanet (http://www.orpha.net/consor/cgi-bin/index.php), creation of new concepts for the original set of prioritized rare diseases has been completed. All of the concepts added for the Orphanet project have been mapped to ICD-10.
The Production release of the SNOMED CT to Orphanet Simple Map was published in October 2021. Work is now underway to add further content to the SNOMED CT to Orphanet Simple Map for future releases starting with the next Production release in October 2022.
2.13.4. ICD-11 Update
The July 2022 release has seen continued addition of content for this project.
2.13.5. International Classification for Nursing Practice
13 new nursing procedure concepts have been added.
2.13.6. Cancer Synoptic Reporting
Cancer synoptic reports are used by many member countries to record pathology examination of cancer specimens including the College of American Pathologists (US and Canada), Royal College of Pathology (UK), Royal College of Pathology Australasia (Australia, New Zealand), PALGA (The Netherlands), Swedish Society of Pathology, and others.
For more information about this project, please see Cancer Synoptic Reporting Clinical Project Group
2.14. Internal Quality Improvement
2.14.1. Machine Readable Concept Model (MRCM) Changes
All historical content issues where two or more finding sites were included in a single role group have been resolved in the International release as part of the QI project. There are two MRCM rules for finding site to accommodate the historical content. One MRCM is applicable to all content, it allows more than one finding site in a role group. The other MRCM is only applicable for 'All new precoordinated SNOMED CT content'. The existing MRCM rules have been updated to only allow at most one finding site in a role group from the July 2022 release.
A further change has been made to the MRCM for the July 2022 release:
- MRCM for new attribute 1230370004 |Is vasculature of (attribute)|
Details of changes to the MRCM are here
2.15. SNOMED CT derived products
2.15.1. ICD-10 map
The SNOMED CT to the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision (© World Health Organization 1994) 2016 Version map (SNOMED CT to ICD-10 Map) is included in the SNOMED CT International release as a Baseline. The SNOMED CT to ICD-10 Map was created to support the epidemiological, statistical and administrative reporting needs of SNOMED International member countries and WHO Collaborating Centers.
The SNOMED CT to ICD-10 Map is released in Release Format 2 (RF2) only. It is located in the file der2_iisssccRefset_ExtendedMapFull_INT_20200731.txt, which is in the Map folder under Refset, in each of the three RF2 Release Type folders.
The SNOMED CT to ICD-10 Map is released as Refset 447562003 |ICD-10 complex map reference set (foundation metadata concept)|.
2.15.2. Content development activity summary
The map is a directed set of relationships from SNOMED CT source concepts to ICD-10 target classification codes. The SNOMED CT source domains for the MAP are limited to subtypes of 404684003 |clinical finding|, 272379006 |event| and 243796009 |situation with explicit context|. The target classification codes are ICD-10 2016 release.
Mapped content for July 2022
The map provided for the July 2022 release has been updated, and now represents a complete map from SNOMED CT International release to ICD-10 2016 version.
197 newly authored concepts have been added and mapped.
The SNOMED to ICD-O (morphology) map has 2 additional concept added as a result of the ICD-O 3.2 review or added due to CRS requests.
We would welcome feedback on any issues that users of the map may detect when using the map. Issues should be submitted via email@example.com
2.15.3. Technical Guide Exemplars
The Technical Guide Exemplars document has now been moved from the International Edition release package to a Confluence page. This page can be found as part of the ICD-10 Mapping Technical Guide (see Appendix B), which is hosted here: http://snomed.org/icd10map
2.15.4. SNOMED CT to OWL conversion and classification
The repository containing the toolkit enabling simple SNOMED CT to OWL conversion and classification can be found here, including documentation on its use: https://github.com/IHTSDO/snomed-owl-toolkit
Please contact SNOMED International at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to provide any feedback on ways to extend and improve the new toolkit.
3. Technical notes
3.1. Known Issues
Known Issues are content or technical issues where the root cause is understood, and the resolution has been discussed and agreed but has yet to be implemented. This can be due to a number of reasons, from lack of time within the new monthly editing cycles, to the risk of impact to the stability of SNOMED CT if the fix were to be deployed at that stage in the Product lifecycle.
For the current SNOMED CT International edition, the following Known Issues were identified, and agreed to be resolved in future editing cycles:
3.2. Resolved Issues
Resolved issues are Known Issues which were not fixed as part of the previous release lifecycle, but which have now been resolved in the latest release. They can also be issues found during testing of the current release, which were resolved before the final deployment of the Production release. Finally they can be issues which were reported or found during the testing phase, but which have been closed without any action taken.
The Resolved Issues for the current SNOMED CT International edition can be found here:
3.3. Technical updates
3.3.1. RF2 package format
For future reference, the RF2 package convention dictates that it contains all relevant files, regardless of whether or not there is content to be included in each particular release. Therefore, the package contains a mixture of files which contain both header rows and content data, and also files that are intentionally left blank (including only a header record). The reason that these files are not removed from the package is to draw a clear distinction between files that:
have been deprecated (and therefore removed from the package completely), due to the content no longer being relevant to RF2 in this or future releases, and
happen to contain no data in this particular release (and are therefore included in the package but left blank, with only a header record), but are still relevant to RF2, and could therefore potentially contain data in future releases.
This allows users to easily distinguish between files that have purposefully been removed or not, as otherwise if files in option 2 above were left out of the package it could be interpreted as an error, rather than an intentional lack of content in that release.
Configuration file in the RF2 package, containing Release Metadata
A new file has been included since the July 2020 International Edition, containing metadata about the Release package itself. This has been created in conjunction with feedback from the community, and as such initially contains the following fields:
The file is in .JSON format, to ensure that it is both machine-readable and human-readable, and is named "release_package_information.json".
The metadata will be extended and refined going forward, in order to ensure that it contains the most useful information possible. If you have any ideas about any other useful information to include, please send them to email@example.com, along with a business case explaining how the information would benefit stakeholders. Please be aware that this use case will then be assessed by SNOMED International, and the new metadata will only be included in the configuration file if the business case is strong enough.
3.3.2. New Association References
In order to support the Content changes above in section 2.3, the following Association Reference set members have been added to the International Edition from the April 2022 release onwards:
- 1186921001|POSSIBLY REPLACED BY association reference set
- 1186924009|PARTIALLY EQUIVALENT TO association reference set
3.3.3. Early visibility of impending changes in the upcoming 2022 Monthly International Edition releases
Please see the following page for details of all upcoming changes planned for 2022:
3.3.4. Document links
All links provide information that is correct and current at the time of this Release. Updated versions may be available at a later date, but if so these will need to be requested from the relevant SNOMED International teams.
NOTE: To access any of the links in the pdf document, please visit the Release Notes @
Draft Amendment History
First draft for review and comment
|Initial content updates|
|Final Production changes|