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01.12.2014 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2014 Open Access

Clinical and Translational Allergy 1/2014

Categorization of allergic disorders in the new World Health Organization International Classification of Diseases

Clinical and Translational Allergy > Ausgabe 1/2014
Luciana Kase Tanno, Moises A Calderon, Bruce J Goldberg, Cezmi A Akdis, Nikolaos G Papadopoulos, Pascal Demoly
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​2045-7022-4-42) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they do not have conflict of interests related to the contents of this article.

Authors’ contributions

LKT and PD contributed to the construction of the document (designed the study, analyzed and interpreted the data, and wrote the manuscript). LKT, MC and PD contributed equally to the validation of the categories proposed in the manuscript. NGP, BG, CAA and MAC helped in the interpretation of the data and with the revision of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Although efforts to improve the classification of hypersensitivity/allergic diseases have been made, they have not been considered a top-level category in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-10 and still are not in the ICD-11 beta phase linearization. ICD-10 is the most used classification system by the allergy community worldwide but it is not considered as appropriate for clinical practice. The Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine Clinical Terms (SNOMED CT) on the other hand contains a tightly integrated classification of hypersensitivity/allergic disorders based on the EAACI/WAO nomenclature and the World Health Organization (WHO) may plan to align ICD-11 with SNOMED CT so that they share a common ontological basis.


With the aim of actively supporting the ongoing ICD-11 revision and the optimal practice of Allergology, we performed a careful comparison of ICD-10 and 11 beta phase linearization codes to identify gaps, areas of regression in allergy coding and possibly reach solutions, in collaboration with committees in charge of the ICD-11 revision.


We have found a significant degree of misclassification of terms in the allergy-related hierarchies. This stems not only from unclear definitions of these conditions but also the use of common names that falsely imply allergy. The lack of understanding of the immune mechanisms underlying some of the conditions contributes to the difficulty in classification.


More than providing data to support specific changes into the ongoing linearization, these results highlight the need for either a new chapter entitled Hypersensitivity/Allergic Disorders as in SNOMED CT or a high level structure in the Immunology chapter in order to make classification more appropriate and usable.
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