Tuesday, January 09, 2007

MeSH 2007: Medical Terminology Updates

This post is really for the librarians among you, and possibly those of you who are interested in words and their meaning. The National Library of Medicine has released their 2007 updates to the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH). MeSH geeks may click on the links for MeSH descriptor data, including definitions. Among the changes:

  • "Circumcision" has been replaced by "Circumcision, Male." In the past, there have been two terms, "Circumcision" and "Circumcision, Female," where "Circumcision" was used to refer to the procedure in males. The scope note for "Circumcision" says that gender is unspecified but usually male, and seems to have been typically used in practice to represent male circumcision. The "Circumcision, Female" term has remained. Thanks to NLM for clarifying the subject headings for searching purposes and no longer thinking that unqualified equals male, at least for this concept.

  • "Feminine Hygiene Products" and "Menstrual Hygiene Products" have been added. These are obviously not new concepts. In the past, the term "Tampons" represented both the menstrual product variety and the "plug other kinds of bleeding during surgery" variety; the scope note states, "They are variously used in surgery to plug the nose, vagina, etc., for the control of hemorrhage or the absorption of secretions." This created difficulties when searchers wanted to look specifically for things like the adverse effects of (menstrual) tampons. "Tampons" has been clarified to "Tampons, Surgical."

  • "Female Athlete Triad Syndrome" has been added; previous searches has to make combined use of Amenorrhea, Eating Disorders, and Osteoporosis or textwords to identify the concept.

  • Papillomavirus Vaccines has been added. This term will represent the new HPV vaccine.

  • Also in sex-specific terminology - The urogenital diseases terms have changed, and appear to be somewhat more consistent in the 2007 MeSH.
    Old MeSH:
  • Urologic and Male Genital Diseases [C12] --> Genital Diseases, Male [C12.294] + (with Urogenital Diseases at the same level)
  • Female Genital Diseases and Pregnancy Complications [C13] --> Genital Diseases, Female [C13.371] --> Urogenital Diseases
    New MeSH:
  • Female Urogenital Diseases and Pregnancy Complications [C13] --> Female Urogenital Diseases [C13.351] --> Genital Diseases, Female [C13.351.500]
  • Male Urogenital Diseases [C12] --> Genital Diseases, Male [C12.294]

    In the "I'm glad they added that!" department, these terms are new to 2007 MeSH: Adult Stem Cells; Dysuria; Explosive Agents; Infant, Extremely Low Birth Weight; Nocturia; Nocturnal Enuresis; Pain, Referred; Particulate Matter; Pneumonia, Ventilator-Associated; Respiratory Aspiration; Stockings, Compression; Surgical Tape; Trigger Finger Disorder; Urinary Bladder, Overactive; Urinary Incontinence, Urge; West Nile Virus Vaccines.

    2006 MeSH
    2007 MeSH
    New Descriptors - 2007
    Changed Descriptors - 2007
    Deleted Descriptors - 2007

    Technorati Tags: ; ; ; ; ;
    MeSH Tags: There's no way I'm listing all the MeSH terms again here.

    Blogger David Rothman said...

    Thanks, Rachel- great post!

    8:32 PM  

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