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RadLex radiology lexicon

We recognize the benefits that come from radiologists using common language to communicate diagnostic results. For this reason, RSNA produced RadLex®, a comprehensive set of radiology terms for use in radiology reporting, decision support, data mining, data registries, education and research.

RadLex provides the foundation for vital data resources used in radiology:

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.

Interested in getting updates on new versions of RadLex? Subscribe to our list.

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LOINC/RSNA Radiology Playbook

The wide variation in the way radiology procedures are named in radiology departments makes ordering and protocoling less efficient and radiology records difficult to aggregate or compare across sites. The LOINC/RSNA Radiology Playbook was created to address this critical problem. Building on RadLex, RSNA developed names for nearly 1,000 commonly performed radiology procedures. Playbook provides a standard system for naming radiology procedures, based on the elements that define an imaging exam such as modality and body part. By providing standard names and codes for radiologic studies, Playbook supports operational and quality improvement efforts, including workflow optimization, chargemaster management, radiation dose tracking, enterprise integration and image exchange.

The need

Today radiology facilities generally make up their own codes and names for radiology exams. The RadLex Playbook offers an agreed set of names for radiology procedures to enhance information sharing and data analysis.

Features and benefits

Each Playbook exam name includes a unique numerical code (Radlex Playbook Identifier, or RPID) and a set of procedure names of varying length and readability for use in different applications. The Playbook can support your practice by:

  • Promoting interoperability of imaging exams
  • Facilitating quality improvement, outcomes research and data analysis
  • Enabling integration of radiology with enterprise systems
  • Simplifying participation in data registries
  • Offering optimization to workflow, billing management and radiation dose tracking

Frequently asked questions

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?
RadLex Playbook has now been fully incorporated into the Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (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 rel="noopener noreferrer" for download on the LOINC website.
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 health care 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.
How does a healthcare facility utilize RadLex Playbook and the LOINC/RSNA Radiology Playbook?
The task of implementing standard codes and procedure names in departmental systems will vary depending on local configurations and practice needs, but is generally a process which is likely to require collaboration between clinical leaders, vendors, and IT staff or consultants with knowledge of system capabilities. You can browse RadLex Playbook by using the term browser. Also on the site is a free, downloadable version of RadLex Playbook in spreadsheet format as well as a User Guide, licensing terms and other information resources. Visit the LOINC website to download LOINC table files, which incorporate the LOINC/RSNA Radiology Playbook.
Can you tell me about the LOINC/RSNA relationship?
RSNA partnered with LOINC's publisher, Regenstrief Institute, 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 on the LOINC website.
In what languages is RadLex Playbook available?
RadLex Playbook is currently available only in English.
What is the status of adoption of RadLex Playbook?
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 regarding questions about Playbook?

Please email radlex-feedback@lists.rsna.org with any comments or questions.

RadLex license

This RadLex license permits use of RadLex® and RadLex® Playbook without charge (PDF).

Release notes

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

RadLex discussion forum

Post comments and questions about RadLex and RadLex Playbook.

Access LOINC

View and download LOINC components, including the Radiology Playbook.