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    • Concept
      t273420000 |Disability assessment schedule (assessment scale)|
       has a synonym of DAS - Disability assessment schedule
    • Concept
      t719977005 |Communication Activities of Daily Living (assessment scale)|
       has a synonym of CADL - Communication Activities of Daily Living


When there is a need to distinguish categories from more specific subtypes with the same name, a dash followed by the word category, may be used.

For example,

      • Concept
        t416500007 |Malignant glioma - category (morphologic abnormality)|
        distinguishes the category of malignant gliomas from those neoplasms that are called
        t74532006 |Glioma, malignant (morphologic abnormality)|
        .  The neoplasm called malignant glioma is one of several subtypes of
        t416500007 |Malignant glioma - category (morphologic abnormality)|
        , and does not have the same meaning as the category itself.

Colon ( : )

In general, colons should not be used in fully specified names.


Colons are allowed in the FSNs of organisms, substances, or products where the colon is part of the name. They are also allowed in ratios and in tumor stages.

For example,

      • Salmonella II 43:g,t:[1,5] (organism)
      • Lidocaine hydrochloride 1.5%/epinephrine 1:200,000 injection solution vial (product)
      • pT3: tumor invades adventitia (esophagus) (finding)

Colons may be allowed in non-FSN descriptions. 

For example, to separate an abbreviation from the rest of a name or a specimen from the finding

      • Urine: turbid (finding)

Double Colon (::)

A double colon ( :: ) notation is allowed in the neoplastic morphologic abnormalities (400177003 |Neoplasm and/or hamartoma (morphologic abnormality)| subhierarchy).  The notation can be used to represent gene fusions; for example, BCR::ABL1 fusion.


    • FSN: Per cubic millimeter (qualifier value)
    • SYN:  /mm3


A forward slash may be used to represent units of measure, official enzyme names, and laboratory test results. They may also be used in and/or when part of FSNs. There should be no space either before or after the slash.

For example,

      • Nitroglycerin 0.3mg/hr disc (product)
      • Ibuprofen 5%/Levomenthol 3% gel (product)
      • Milligram/deciliter haptoglobin (qualifier value)
      • Bone structure of head and/or neck (body structure)

A forward slash may be allowed in non-FSN descriptions in a variety of contexts. Some common examples of use are in acronyms with findings, and as an abbreviation meaning and/or concepts.

Protein names may contain the forward slash ‘/’ for separating multiple domains or functions:

For example, 1222712000 |Serine/threonine-protein kinase B-raf (substance)| 

Certain neoplastic variants incorporate a slash in their terming (note this slash does not mean 'and' or 'and/or'). Based on pathology input, a dash can be utilized in the FSN and a slash retained in the Preferred Term for clinical usage.

For example,

      • FSN: Myelodysplastic-myeloproliferative neoplasm with neutrophilia (disorder)
      • PT:  Myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasm with neutrophilia

Plus sign ( + )

The plus sign is generally discouraged for use in descriptions, and legacy content still contains this symbol.  However, some uses are allowed. Plus signs may be found in the product, disposition, and substance hierarchies. 

For example,

    • |H+/K+-exchanging ATPase inhibitor| is an acceptable synonym for 
      t734582004 |Hydrogen/potassium adenosine triphosphatase enzyme system inhibitor (disposition)|

Caret symbol ( ^ )

A pair of caret symbols is used to enclose character strings that should display as superscript.