Using UMLS metathesaurus concepts to describe medical images: Dermatology vocabulary

James W. Woods, Charles A. Sneiderman, Kamran Hameed, Michael J. Ackerman, Charlie Hatton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Web servers at the National Library of Medicine (NLM) displayed images of ten skin lesions to practicing dermatologists and provided an online form for capturing text they used to describe the pictures. The terms were submitted to the UMLS Metathesaurus (Meta). Concepts retrieved, their semantic types, definitions and synonyms, were returned to each subject in a second web-based form. Subjects rated the concepts against their own descriptive terms. They submitted 825 terms, 346 of which were unique and 300 mapped to UMLS concepts. The dermatologists rated 295 concepts as 'Exact Match' and they accomplished both tasks in about 30 min.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-100
Number of pages12
JournalComputers in Biology and Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006


  • Concept name
  • Dermatology
  • Indexing
  • Internet
  • Metathesaurus
  • Semantics
  • UMLS
  • Vocabulary
  • WWW


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