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An ontological foundation for ocular phenotypes and rare eye diseases

Sergouniotis, PI; Maxime, E; Leroux, D; Olry, A; Thompson, R; Rath, A; Robinson, PN; ... Zrenner, E; + view all (2019) An ontological foundation for ocular phenotypes and rare eye diseases. [Letter]. Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases , 14 , Article 8. 10.1186/s13023-018-0980-6. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: The optical accessibility of the eye and technological advances in ophthalmic diagnostics have put ophthalmology at the forefront of data-driven medicine. The focus of this study is rare eye disorders, a group of conditions whose clinical heterogeneity and geographic dispersion make data-driven, evidence-based practice particularly challenging. Inter-institutional collaboration and information sharing is crucial but the lack of standardised terminology poses an important barrier. Ontologies are computational tools that include sets of vocabulary terms arranged in hierarchical structures. They can be used to provide robust terminology standards and to enhance data interoperability. Here, we discuss the development of the ophthalmology-related component of two well-established biomedical ontologies, the Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO; includes signs, symptoms and investigation findings) and the Orphanet Rare Disease Ontology (ORDO; includes rare disease nomenclature/nosology). // METHODS: A variety of approaches were used including automated matching to existing resources and extensive manual curation. To achieve the latter, a study group including clinicians, patient representatives and ontology developers from 17 countries was formed. A broad range of terms was discussed and validated during a dedicated workshop attended by 60 members of the group. // RESULTS: A comprehensive, structured and well-defined set of terms has been agreed on including 1106 terms relating to ocular phenotypes (HPO) and 1202 terms relating to rare eye disease nomenclature (ORDO). These terms and their relevant annotations can be accessed in http://www.human-phenotype-ontology.org/ and http://www.orpha.net/; comments, corrections, suggestions and requests for new terms can be made through these websites. This is an ongoing, community-driven endeavour and both HPO and ORDO are regularly updated. // CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge, this is the first effort of such scale to provide terminology standards for the rare eye disease community. We hope that this work will not only improve coding and standardise information exchange in clinical care and research, but also it will catalyse the transition to an evidence-based precision ophthalmology paradigm.

Type: Article
Title: An ontological foundation for ocular phenotypes and rare eye diseases
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s13023-018-0980-6
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13023-018-0980-6
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/ zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Keywords: Evidence-based precision medicine, Rare eye disease, Human phenotype ontology, Orphanet rare disease ontology
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Institute of Ophthalmology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10085217
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