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There are valid use cases for each Release Type. Each International release will incorporate all three of these the Full and Snapshot Release Types, allowing users to choose the most appropriate format for their needs. Extensions should always be available as a full release and other Release Types may also be made available.


  • Each SNOMED CT concept is held as a single row in the concept file. Each row represents a clinical concept.
  • Each description is held as a single row in the description file, and is associated with a single concept.
  • Each relationship, from a source concept to a destination concept, is held as a single row in the relationship file. Each row also refers to the concept that represents the relationship type.

In Full Release files, concepts, descriptions and relationships may be represented by more than one row. In this case each row represents the state of the component at a stated point in time.