A proposal for the ICD-10 G93.3 legacy terms for ICD-11: Part One

Post #329 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-4dV

Our Proposal and Rationale is set out in Part Two:

A proposal for the ICD-10 G93.3 legacy terms for ICD-11: Part Two

A version of ICD-11 in 2018

It’s been a long time coming and it ain’t finished yet…

The World Health Organization (WHO) has been revising ICD-10 since 2007.

After several shifts in the timeline, WHO plans to present a version of the next edition (ICD-11 MMS) at the World Health Assembly (WHA), in May 2018.

WHO won’t be seeking endorsement of the ICD-11 product in May 2018 because it won’t be ready to implement. Endorsement will be sought at some point in the future. In the meantime, a version of ICD-11 is scheduled for release later in 2018, after the May assembly. The release date has yet to be announced.


“…The World Health Organization (WHO) is currently developing the 11th revision of ICD. Once endorsed by the World Health Assembly (WHA), WHO Nomenclature regulations stipulate that Member States must use the most current revision for mortality and morbidity purposes. For this reason and to allow member countries to adopt the new revision when they are ready, WHO will brief the WHA on ICD-11 in May 2018 but will not seek endorsement at this time.”

Member states will transition from ICD-10 to the new edition at their own pace. It’s going to be several years before countries have evaluated the ICD-11 product for utility and prepared their health systems to make the transition.

At some point, data using codes from the new edition will be accepted alongside data compiled using ICD-10. WHO will continue to support ICD-10 until the majority of member states have adopted and implemented the new edition.

It will take even longer for countries like the U.S. and Canada, who use a country specific adaptation of ICD, to implement as they will need to modify the new edition to suit their countries’ health systems. The earliest Canada can implement is currently projected as 2023 [1]. The U.S.’s CDC estimate it will take at least 6 years after the codes have been ratified to prepare, field test and implement an ICD-11-CM/PCS.


Proposal deadlines

Some important deadlines for proposals for the ICD-11 Beta draft:

The deadline in order for proposals to be considered for a frozen version in March/April 2017 was 30 December 2016.

In order for proposals to be considered for inclusion in the version of ICD-11 that is scheduled for release in 2018, they needed to be submitted by March 30, 2017. So those two deadlines have been reached.

Comments by member states and improvements arising as a part of the Quality Assurance mechanism will be included with deadlines later in 2017.

According to Slide #12 in this November 2016 WHO presentation, the deadline for member state comments is May 31, 2017; the deadline for Field Testing and Quality Assurance is June 30, 2017 [2]. But these dates are unconfirmed and may have been revised since November, last year.

Proposals received after the end of May will be considered in the context of ICD-11 maintenance after 2018, when the new version will be subject to an annual update and maintenance schedule [3]. The first annual update is anticipated in 2019.

The Joint Task Force is considering naming each year’s iteration in the format: ICD 2018; ICD 2019; ICD 2020 and so on. There may never be a need for an ICD-12, since an electronic system is better able to evolve “gracefully” – as Dr Christopher Chute (Joint Task Force; Chair, Revision Steering Group) puts it – in response to advances in scientific knowledge and classificatory changes.


Deadlines for submitting comments

I have asked Dr Jakob and the Joint Task Force to clarify by what date comments on proposals that met the March 30 deadline will need to be submitted by in order to be considered in the context of the earliest release of ICD-11, in 2018.

No clarification has been forthcoming; so if you are a stakeholder considering submitting a comment on existing proposals in the Beta draft or on outstanding proposals queued in the “Proposals Mechanism” which are still going through the review process, then I would advise that you put this in hand over the next couple of weeks. If any deadline is announced, I will update at the top of this report.


Frozen release

On April 4, ICD Revision is scheduled to release a frozen version of ICD-11 MMS for field testing*. If there are any changes in this April 2017 Frozen Release that are relevant to stakeholders in the G93.3 terms, I will post an update at the top of this report.

*ICD-11 Field Trials, Information and Terms of Engagement, March 17, 2017 https://hscic.kahootz.com/gf2.ti/af/762498/122441/PDF/-/ICD11_FT_Information_and_ToE.pdf


Current status of the ICD-10 G93.3 legacy categories

The ICD-10 G93.3 legacy categories: Postviral fatigue syndrome; Benign myalgic encephalomyelitis and Chronic fatigue syndrome were taken out of the public version of the Beta draft in early 2013, with no explanation for their absence.

ICD Revision has maintained a cephalopodic grip on its intentions for these terms.

Advocates and patient organization stakeholders have been attempting to obtain transparency from ICD Revision around the Topic Advisory Group for Neurology’s proposals for these terms for over four years. During this period, stakeholders have been disenfranchised from participation in the revision process.


Questions raised in the English Parliament

15 international stakeholder organizations wrote to the ICD-11 MMS Joint Task Force, in February, in support of my call that the Joint Task Force place the matter of the continued absence of proposals for these terms on the Agenda of their February 20–22 meeting, in Cologne.

There were asked to expedite the release of proposals for public scrutiny and comment before the March 30 deadline.

This initiative was met with a disturbing level of obfuscation on the part of WHO and the Joint Task Force, especially given that ICD Revision has been promoted as an open, transparent process, inclusive of stakeholder participation.

The Countess of Mar, a long standing advocate for patients with ME and CFS, tabled two Written Questions in the House of Lords. The first is here (February 27), which received a response that raised more questions than it answered and a follow up question, here (March 16), which received an equally opaque reply.

But on March 26, the three terms were finally restored to the Beta draft – but with this caveat:

“While the optimal place in the classification is still being identified, the entity has been put back to its original place in ICD.”

Team WHO 2017-Mar-26 – 12:46 UTC

This suggests that we should view the restoration of the terms as a “placeholder” and that the work group may release revised proposals later this year.


What do we know?

WHO has confirmed that there is no intention to classify the ICD-10 G93.3 legacy terms under the Mental or behavioural disorders chapter or under the Symptoms, signs chapter.

“Team WHO” has also approved some long standing proposals for exclusions for two of these terms under Fatigue (but not yet approved an exclusion for Postviral fatigue syndrome and I have asked “Team WHO” for the rationale for this apparent anomaly, since one would anticipate that if the inclusion terms are excluded under Fatigue, the ICD concept title entity would also be excluded). Possibly, TAG Neurology has other plans for the classification of PVFS in ICD-11.

So, nearly 10 years into the revision process, it’s still unclear what the work group might be considering for these terms, when they will reach consensus, or whether alternative proposals might be released on April 4, when a frozen version of ICD-11 is scheduled for release for field testing.


How do the terms currently stand in ICD-10?

This is how the G93.3 legacy terms were represented in ICD-10:

For ICD-10, Postviral fatigue syndrome (PVFS) is the lead (or concept title) term. Benign myalgic encephalomyelitis is the inclusion term under PVFS and takes the G93.3 code. Chronic fatigue syndrome is listed only in the Index, and coded to G93.3.


How do the terms stand in ICD-11 Beta draft, now they have been restored?

Since March 26, 2017, for ICD-11 Beta draft, all three terms are currently back under the Neurology chapter, under parent: Other disorders of the nervous system. PVFS is the lead (or concept title) term. BME and CFS are both specified as inclusion terms to PVFS, in the ICD-11 equivalent of the Tabular List. The terms listed under synonyms and all other “Content Model” descriptive content appear much as the Beta had stood in 2009.

But given the caveat, it is still unknown what the work group might be considering for these terms or whether or when they might release further proposals.

Note that the recommendations of the various external work groups are advisory only. WHO classification experts and the Joint Task Joint can, and sometimes do, overrule work group decisions.

If the Topic Advisory Group for Neurology, that has responsibility for these terms, were to reach consensus and release an alternative set of proposals before 2018, these will not necessarily obtain the approval of WHO/Joint Task Joint.


Suzy Chapman and Mary Dimmock have submitted a proposal

To address this situation, U.S. advocate, Mary Dimmock, and I have collaborated on the preparation of a formal and fully referenced proposal which we submitted on March 27. Our proposal (in the PDF below) recommends that these terms should be retained in the neurological chapter, using separate codes for ME and CFS, and also makes other recommendations.

PDF: Suzy Chapman, Mary Dimmock Proposal for ICD-11


Our Proposal and Rationale is set out in Part Two:

A proposal for the ICD-10 G93.3 legacy terms for ICD-11: Part Two

For a good overview of ICD-11’s structure and functionality by NHS Digital click here


1 International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 11th Revision, Canada, Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). https://www.cihi.ca/en/submit-data-and-view-standards/codes-and-classifications/icd-11

2 Presentation, Dr Robert Jakob, WHO/ICD Revision, November 2016. https://t.co/VvtZXVHZoF

3 ICD Revision Quarterly Newsletter, ICD-11 Update: January 2017. http://www.who.int/entity/classifications/ICD11January2017Newsletter.pdf



Changes to SNOMED CT and Read Codes (CTV3) for CFS, ME and PVFS

Post #327 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-4aD

Recent changes to SNOMED CT for CFS, ME and PVFS

  • Correspondence between Forward-ME and UK Health and Social Care Information Centre
  • SNOMED CT retires Mental disorder parent for Chronic fatigue syndrome and ME
  • Projected changes to April 2016 release of Read Codes Clinical Terms Version 3 (CTV3)
  • Read Codes system to be phased out as part of wider SNOMED CT implementation

In addition to ICD-10, a number of terminology and electronic health and medical record systems are used in the UK in primary, secondary, and health and social care clinical settings, which include:

OPCS-4 (classification of Surgical Operations and Procedures)

SNOMED CT (Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine – Clinical Terms, a comprehensive, multilingual clinical terminology system)

Read Codes (a coded thesaurus of clinical terms for recording patient findings and procedures in health and social care IT systems across primary and secondary care, e.g. GP surgeries and reporting of pathology results).

The National Information Board (NIB) has specified that all primary care systems adopt SNOMED CT by the end of December 2016 and that SNOMED CT is to be used as the single terminology in all health care settings in England, with a projected adoption date for the entire health system of April 2020 [3].

You can access a public SNOMED CT browser here: IHTSDO browser

This is an online browser and does not require any software to be downloaded. You will need to accept the license and then select for the UK “Local Extension” of SNOMED CT. Click on the “Search” tab to enter clinical terms.

The SNOMED CT International Edition and “Local Extensions” for a number of other countries, including the US, are also available via the browser. All editions release new updates twice a year, on a staggered schedule. The Release schedule for the UK Extension is April and October.

Read Codes system to be retired

The Read Codes system of clinical terms has been used in the NHS since 1985. As part of the adoption of SNOMED CT in primary care, Clinical Terms Version 3 (CTV3) is being deprecated.

More information on the phasing out of Read Codes, here:

Retirement of Read Version 2 and Clinical Terms Version 3

Click link for PDF document Retirement Schedule

There was no new release for CTV3 issued in October, but the April 2016 release is scheduled for Friday, 18th March 2016. The last release of CTV3 will be published in April 2018.

How have CFS and related terms been listed within SNOMED CT and CTV3?


Prior to July 2015, all editions of SNOMED CT had the following listings for CFS, ME and PVFS:

Chronic fatigue syndrome (with ME – Myalgic encephalomyelitis and several other related and historical terms listed under Synonyms) was assigned two parent disorder classes: Mental disorder, and Multisystem disorder.

Postviral fatigue syndrome was listed under Children to Chronic fatigue syndrome.

Read Codes (CTV3)

The twice yearly Read Codes releases (April and October) are available only to license holders but the codes can be viewed through this public resource (caveat: it is unclear how often this NCBO BioPortal ontology resource is updated with new releases for individual ontology systems):

See: BioPortal Xa01F

For CTV3, Xa01F Chronic fatigue syndrome (with ME – Myalgic encephalomyelitis and PVFS – Postviral fatigue syndrome under Synonyms) is listed, hierarchically, under two parent disorder classes: as a Sub Class of both Neurasthenia, under parent: Mental health disorder, and as a Sub Class of Neurological disorder.

See: http://purl.bioontology.org/ontology/RCD/Xa01F

Mental health disorder > Neurotic disorder > Somatoform disorder > Neurasthenia > Chronic fatigue syndrome


Neurological disorder > Chronic fatigue syndrome

See also the Visualization tab for a diagrammatic representation of dual parentage:


Correspondence between Countess of Mar and UK Health and Social Care Information Centre

Forward-ME is an informal group for ME charities and voluntary organizations, chaired by the Countess of Mar, who also serves as Co-chair to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME).

Between November 2014 and June 2015, Lady Mar was in correspondence with Mr Leon Liburd, Senior Support Analyst Systems and Service Delivery, and Ms Elaine Wooler, Advanced Clinical Terminology Specialist, UK Health and Social Care Information Centre.

Their correspondence (in reverse date order) was published on the Forward-ME website in June and can be read here Correspondence re SNOMED added June 2015

or open PDF here on Dx Revision Watch

Click link for PDF document  Correspondence re SNOMED

Changes to SNOMED CT

As a result of these exchanges, Lady Mar was advised that the relationship between the entry for 52702003 Chronic fatigue syndrome and the Mental disorder parent had been retired. In future editions, Chronic fatigue syndrome would be listed under the single parent, 281867008 Multisystem disorder.

See here

Additionally, 51771007 Postviral fatigue syndrome was being removed as a subtype of 52702003 Chronic fatigue syndrome (disorder) – though no rationale for this specific decision appears to be provided within the correspondence.

See here

[So 51771007 Postviral fatigue syndrome would be no longer be listed as a sub class under Children to 52702003 Chronic fatigue syndrome but directly under two parents: 281867008 Multisystem disorder and 123948009 Post-viral disorder.]

These changes were effected in the July 2015 release for the International Edition (Release 20150731).

They were subsequently incorporated into the September 2015 US Extension (Release 20150901), the October 2015 UK Extension (Release 20151001) and the November 2015 Swedish Extension (Release 20151130). It is expected that other country Extensions will also reflect these changes in their forthcoming releases.

Within the correspondence, on 11 November 2014, Mr Leon Liburd had also advised Lady Mar:

“It is also noted that the corresponding representation in the UK’s Clinical Terms Version 3 terminology product Xa01F | Chronic fatigue syndrome is classified as both a Neurological disorder and a Mental health disorder. As such, any conclusions emerging from the SNOMED CT discussions would also be reflected in the CTV3 UK product.”

Clarification re CFS and CTV3

In November, I contacted the UK Health and Social Care Information Centre for clarification of how CFS and its various Synonyms are currently listed within CTV3.

On 20 November, I was advised by Karim Nashar, Terminology Specialist, UK Terminology Centre, Health and Social Care Information Centre, that:

“[Xa01F | Chronic fatigue syndrome was being moved] under a single supertype 281867008 | Multisystem disorder (disorder) as to reflect the SNOMED correction in CTV3″

and that this change should be reflected in the April 2016 CTV3 release.

As noted above, Clinical Terms Version 3 (CTV3) is being deprecated and the last release of CTV3 will be published in April 2018.

The ICD-11 Beta draft and proposed classification of the G93.3 legacy terms

In June, WHO’s Dr Robert Jakob had told me that if TAG Neurology’s proposals and rationales for the G93.3 legacy terms were not ready for public release in September, he projected their release by December, latest (see towards end of Post #324).

No proposals were released in September and none in December. Eight years into the revision process and stakeholders still don’t know how ICD Revision proposes to classify the ICD-10 G93.3 legacy terms for ICD-11.

On 28 December, I called again, via the ICD-11 Beta Comments mechanism, for these terms to be restored to the public version of the Beta drafting platform.


1 UK Terminology Centre (UKTC): http://systems.hscic.gov.uk/data/uktc/

2 SNOMED CT: http://systems.hscic.gov.uk/data/uktc/snomed

3 NIB document ‘Personalised Health and Care 2020: A Framework for Action’:

4 IHTSDO browser: http://browser.ihtsdotools.org

5 Retirement of Read Version 2 and Clinical Terms Version 3: http://systems.hscic.gov.uk/data/uktc/readcodes

6 NCBO BioPortal Read Codes (CTV3) Xa01F Chronic fatigue syndrome

7 Forward-ME Correspondence re SNOMED added June 2015


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