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African Journal of Laboratory Medicine

On-line version ISSN 2225-2010
Print version ISSN 2225-2002


CASSIM, Naseem et al. Using Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine clinical term codes to assign histological findings for prostate biopsies in the Gauteng province, South Africa: Lessons learnt. Afr. J. Lab. Med. [online]. 2020, vol.9, n.1, pp.1-9. ISSN 2225-2010.

BACKGROUND: Prostate cancer (PCa) is a leading male neoplasm in South Africa OBJECTIVE: The aim of our study was to describe PCa using Systemized Nomenclature of Medicine (SNOMED) clinical terms codes, which have the potential to generate more timely data METHODS: The retrospective study design was used to analyse prostate biopsy data from our laboratories using SNOMED morphology (M) and topography (T) codes where the term 'prostate' was captured in the narrative report. Using M code descriptions, the diagnosis, sub-diagnosis, sub-result and International Classification of Diseases for Oncology (ICD-O-3) codes were assigned using a lookup table. Topography code descriptions identified biopsies of prostatic origin. Lookup tables were prepared using Microsoft Excel and combined with the data extracts using Access. Contingency tables reported M and T codes, diagnosis and sub-diagnosis frequencies RESULTS: An M and T code was reported for 88% (n = 22 009) of biopsies. Of these, 20 551 (93.37%) were of prostatic origin. A benign diagnosis (ICD-O-3:8000/0) was reported for 10 441 biopsies (50.81%) and 45.26% had a malignant diagnosis (n = 9302). An adenocarcinoma (8140/3) sub-diagnosis was reported for 88.16% of malignant biopsies (n = 8201). An atypia diagnosis was reported for 760 biopsies (3.7%). Inflammation (39.03%) and hyperplasia (20.82%) were the predominant benign sub-diagnoses CONCLUSION: Our study demonstrated the feasibility of generating PCa data using SNOMED codes from national laboratory data. This highlights the need for extending the results of our study to a national level to deliver timeous monitoring of PCa trends

Keywords : prostate biopsy; Systemized Nomenclature of Medicine; SNOMED; morphology; topography; prostate cancer and adenocarcinoma.

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