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  • Informatics
  • RadLex

  • About

    To get the full benefit of images and reports as electronic medical records, radiologists need a unified language to inform, organize, retrieve and analyze them. Other medical terminologies and coding schemes lack specific concepts and terms vital to radiology.

    To address this deficiency, RSNA has produced RadLex®, a radiology-specific ontology. Implementing RadLex in imaging reports enhances their value for communicating diagnoses, data analysis and research. RadLex is comprehensive, with over 75,000 terms and synonyms, developed with the help of six RadLex organ system committees.

    RadLex also provides a special component, RadLex Playbook – a standard system for naming radiology procedures. Learn more about RadLex Playbook.

    The development of RadLex has been supported by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) and the cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBIG) project. RadLex is licensed freely for commercial and non-commercial users. Review and download the license.


    The term browser to view RadLex’s structure and content on a web platform, available here.

    Uses and Benefits of RadLex

    • Provides standard terms for radiology reporting

    • Contains terms used by structured reporting templates

    • Encodes synonyms to improve report search and data mining

    • Includes standard codes and names for imaging exams

    • Facilitates clinical decision support and data registries

    • Offers a technical standard for workflow, quality improvement and research


    What is an ontology?
    An ontology consists of a standardized set of concepts or terms and the relationships between those concepts.  RadLex is an ontology focused on the domain of radiology.

    What is the relationship between RadLex and RadLex Playbook?
    RadLex contains individual terms and concepts related to medical imaging that can be used in a variety of applications, including radiology reporting, data mining and research. RadLex Playbook combines RadLex terms, using a consistent syntax, to provide a standard set of exam names and codes.  

    Where can I obtain RadLex Playbook?
     Playbook has now been fully incorporated into the LOINC terminology for clinical observations. RSNA worked with the Regenstrief Institute, the publishers of LOINC, to harmonize the two terminologies, under a project funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) and the Department of Defense (DoD). This work was completed in September 2017. The full set of LOINC codes, including the LOINC/RSNA Radiology Playbook, is available for download here.

    In what languages is RadLex available?
    The comprehensive RadLex terminology is currently only available in English but a full translation of RadLex into German has been completed by the German Radiology Society or Deutsche Röntgengesellschaft (DRG). It will be incorporated into the published version of RadLex in early 2018. A Portuguese translation of RadLex is also currently in development.

    How can my healthcare facility utilize RadLex?
    Facilities can incorporate RadLex in their reporting process by implementing reporting templates that incorporate RadLex terms and codes. A library of such templates is available at RadReport.org. The LOINC/RSNA Radiology Playbook can be incorporated into a facility's electronic systems in order to facilitate enterprise integration and registry participation. Playbook is used to create consistent procedure names for data submitted to the American College of Radiology’s CT Dose Index Registry. It has also been incorporated into Epic Corporation’s Foundation System, which provides customers up-to-date features and content.

    Who can I contact with more questions?
    Comments, questions and suggestions for new or revised terms can be submitted to radlexfeedback@lists.rsna.org

  • Resources

  • RsnaProgram7

    Bioportal Download

    Download the latest RadLex ontology and review additional details, metrics, versions and projects that use RadLex.


    RadLex License

    This RadLex® License permits use of RadLex® and PlaybookTM without charge.


    Release Notes

    Stay up to date on the latest additions and amendments to RadLex terms, preferred names and synonyms.