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AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2012;2012:882-90. Epub 2012 Nov 3.

Evaluation of automated term groupings for detecting anaphylactic shock signals for drugs.

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INSERM U872, Eq. 20, Paris, France.


Signal detection in pharmacovigilance should take into account all terms related to a medical concept rather than a single term. We built an OWL-DL file with formal definitions of MedDRA and SNOMED-CT concepts and performed two queries, Query 1 and 2, to retrieve narrow and broad terms within the Standard MedDRA Query (SMQ) related to 'anaphylactic shock' and the terms from the High Level Term (HLT) grouping related to 'anaphylaxis'. We compared values of the EB05 (EBGM) statistical test for disproportionality with 50 active ingredients randomly selected in the public version of the FDA pharmacovigilance database. Coefficient of correlation was R(2) = 1.00 between Query 1 and HLT; R(2) = 0.98 between Query 1 and SMQ narrow; R(2) = 0.89 between Query 2 and SMQ Narrow+Broad. Generating automated groupings of terms for signal detection is feasible but requires additional efforts in modeling MedDRA terms in order to improve precision and recall of these groupings.

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