Lipoprotein (a) disorder gets SNOMED codes

One of the main issues with any disorder is to be able to identify who has the condition and who may be at risk of the condition.

This may seem like an easy question to answer we measure patient's Lipoprotein (a) (Lp(a)) and, dependent on the result, diagnose patients with Lp(a) disorder and advise relatives to be tested.

In practice, whilst this works at an individual patient level it has not worked at a system level because there was no systematic way of recording which patients had Lp(a) disorder and which patients had relatives with the disorder.

For some conditions, this can be directly inferred from the result. If the number is above a certain threshold then the patient has the condition. Unfortunately for Lp(a) because some labs report in milligrams per decilitre and some in nanomoles per litre and there is an overlap in the numerical ranges it is not possible to know from the numeric alone which patient has or has not got raised Lp(a), and unfortunately reporting systems do not code the unit of measure, so we can’t use this to know which patients do and don’t have raised Lp(a).

To overcome this Dr Peter Green on behalf of HEART UK requested SNOMED CT codes for Lipoprotein (a) hyperlipidaemia (disorder) and Family history of lipoprotein (a) hyperlipoproteinemia (situation) and we are pleased to announce that these have been approved and due for release by the International SNOMED Committee so that all healthcare systems in the world can record patients with LP(a) disorder and those at hereditary risk.  The codes are as follows:

1264214003       Family History of lipoprotein (a) hyperlipoproteinaemia (situation)

1264212004       Lipoprotein (a) hyperlipoproteinaemia (disorder)

Just as a footnote some healthcare professionals may have already been using a code for Family history of hyperlipoprotein a (situation) 109331000119110. This code has now been inactivated because it also coded for Family history of Fredrickson’s type IIa hyperlipidaemia. Which, as you’ll know, is a completely different disorder.