Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Int J Med Inform. 2006 Jul;75(7):542-52. Epub 2005 Oct 3.

Amplification of Terminologia anatomica by French language terms using Latin terms matching algorithm: a prototype for other language.

Author information

  • 1CRED, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Sherbrooke, Qu├ębec, Canada.



Terminologia anatomica is the new standard in anatomical terminology. This terminology is available only in Latin and English and its worldwide adoption is subject to the addition of terms from others languages. On the other hand, Nomina anatomica, the previous standard, has been widely translated. Aim of this work was to append foreign terms to Terminologia by using similarity-matching algorithm between its Latin terms and those from Nomina.


A semi-automatic matching of Latin terms from Terminologia with those of Nomina was performed using a string-to-string distance algorithm and manual assessment. We used a French-Latin version of Nomina together with Terminologia and we suggested French terms for Terminologia. Coverage was evaluated by the number of exact and approximate matches. A target of 78% was set due to the higher number of terms in Terminologia compared to Nomina. Relevance was estimated by manually comparing the meanings of the English and French terms related to the same Latin term. The question was whether they refer to the same anatomical structure.


Exact or approximate matches were found for 5982 terms (76.5%) of Terminologia. Our results indicated that more than 75% of the terms from Terminologia came from Nomina, most of them were left unchanged and all were used with the same meaning.


This method produces relevant results, reaching our 78% target. The method is based only on Latin terms and can be used for other languages. We consider this work as a starting point for adding terms to other knowledge sources, such as the foundational model of anatomy or the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS).

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center