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MeSH Review

Unified Medical Language System

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High impact information on Unified Medical Language System

  • MATERIAL AND METHODS: The Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) knowledge sources of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and principles of implementation resulting from the previous ARIANE project are described [1].
  • Based on the mentioned principles the MUSTANG system (Medical UMLS based Terminology Server for Authoring, Navigating and Guiding the Retrieval to Heterogeneous Knowledge Sources) has been developed [2].
  • The UMLS knowledge sources are distributed on CD-ROM and by FTP [3].
  • BioMeKe has been developed to have access to information using systematic investigation upon a concept, gene, gene products, pathology, or any target keyword, and is based on the combination of several relevant resources: UMLS, GeneOntology, MeSH supplementary terms, GOA, and HUGO [4].
  • A metadata collection form helps acquiring resource instance data within Prot g . The DC subject field is populated with UMLS terms directly imported from UMLS Knowledge Source Server using UMLS tab, a Prot g -2000 plug-in [5].

Associations of Unified Medical Language System with chemical compounds


Gene context of Unified Medical Language System

  • Within the Image Engine multimedia medical record system project at the University of Pittsburgh we are evolving an approach to representation and retrieval of medical images which combines semantic indexing using the UMLS Metathesuarus, image content-based representation and knowledge-based image analysis [7].
  • Augmenting GRATEFUL MED with the UMLS Metathesaurus: an initial evaluation [8].
  • Tested on SNOMED and ICD in French and English, it proves to identify fairly reliable morphological relations (precision > 90%) with a good coverage (over 88% compared to the UMLS lexical variant generation program) [9].


  1. Designing and implementing health data and information providers. Joubert, M., Dufour, J.C., Aymard, S., Falco, L., Fieschi, M. International journal of medical informatics. (2005) [Pubmed]
  2. Standardized terminological services enabling semantic interoperability between distributed and heterogeneous systems. Ingenerf, J., Reiner, J., Seik, B. International journal of medical informatics. (2001) [Pubmed]
  3. The Unified Medical Language System (UMLS): integrating biomedical terminology. Bodenreider, O. Nucleic Acids Res. (2004) [Pubmed]
  4. BioMeKe: an ontology-based biomedical knowledge extraction system devoted to transcriptome analysis. Marquet, G., Burgun, A., Moussouni, F., Guérin, E., Le Duff, F., Loréal, O. Studies in health technology and informatics. (2003) [Pubmed]
  5. Towards a semantic medical Web: HealthCyberMap's tool for building an RDF metadata base of health information resources based on the Qualified Dublin Core Metadata Set. Boulos, M.N., Roudsari, A.V., Carson, E.R. Med. Sci. Monit. (2002) [Pubmed]
  6. Navigating to knowledge. Tuttle, M.S., Cole, W.G., Sheretz, D.D., Nelson, S.J. Methods of information in medicine. (1995) [Pubmed]
  7. Towards knowledge-based retrieval of medical images. The role of semantic indexing, image content representation and knowledge-based retrieval. Lowe, H.J., Antipov, I., Hersh, W., Smith, C.A. Proceedings / AMIA ... Annual Symposium. AMIA Symposium. (1998) [Pubmed]
  8. Augmenting GRATEFUL MED with the UMLS Metathesaurus: an initial evaluation. Jachna, J.S., Powsner, S.M., Miller, P.L. Bulletin of the Medical Library Association. (1993) [Pubmed]
  9. A general method for sifting linguistic knowledge from structured terminologies. Grabar, N., Zweigenbaum, P. Proceedings / AMIA ... Annual Symposium. AMIA Symposium. (2000) [Pubmed]
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