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Unified Medical Language System® (UMLS®)

2012AA MEDLINEPLUS Source Information

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Summary of Changes:

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Removed atom "MedlinePlus Health Topics" (TTY = HT) .  This atom, which was created during Metathesaurus processing, was not necessary since Local Topics are no longer released.

Changed TTY for "Groups" from PT to HT

Assigned SDUI to Groups (HTs) 


Relationships between MSH qualifiers and MEDLINEPLUS atoms were incorrectly being labeled as RQ/mapped_from

RT/mapping_qualifier_of between TQ and MEDLINEPLUS atom

Dropped REL/RELA: 
RQ/mapped_from between TQ and MEDLINEPLUS atom

Corrected STYPE values:
STYPE1 and STYPE2 are now set to SDUI for hierarchical (PAR/CHD/SIB) and other relationships.  Previously these were AUI <--> AUI or AUI <--> CODE.

Corrected relationship group assignments: 
Many rels were being assigned RG=1, but it should have been null.  This resulted in many rels being grouped together incorrectly.  The RG value has been changed to null as appropriate.


Dropped ATN:
    DateCreated:  This ATN was replaced by "DATE_CREATED" in META2011AA

Change in MRSAT.STYPE:
Attributes which previously had STYPE="CODE" now have STYPE="SDUI":

Source-Provided Files: Summary

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The following MedlinePlus files are used for Metathesaurus processing. These files, along with additional information can be accessed at

Documentation and Reference

File Name Description
mplus_vocab.dtd dtd for mplus_vocab_YYYY-MM-DD.xml
mplus_groups.dtd dtd for mplus_vocab_YYYY-MM-DD.xml

XML Data Files

File Name Description

Contains information on all MedlinePlus health topics including:  topic name; URL; creation date; associated terminology (synonyms, see references and MeSH headings); group membership.

mplus_groups_2011-12-28.xml Contains information on all health topic groups on MedlinePlus.

Not included:

Spanish language content is not included in the Metathesaurus. 

Source-Provided Files: Details

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The source representation documentation below is based on published MedlinePlus documentation describing XML data elements. Details from this document that are not relevant to Metathesaurus processing have been removed for cleaner presentation. For each XML data element, the table below describes where the data can be found in the RRF format. Redundant data elements may not be processed directly for inclusion in the Metathesaurus.

The original documentation can be accessed at:

The following is a list of elements available for MedlinePlus data in XML format.


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Element Representation
Each MedlinePlus topic represented by the file has its own <MedicalTopic> element. The attributes for this element include:

ID - the unique internal identification number assigned to each topic by the MedlinePlus system; the number always begins with a "T."
langcode - the language of this topic. This can be either English or Spanish, with English as the default.
Example: <MedicalTopic ID="T85" langcode="English">

<MedicalTopic ID> attribute:  MRCONSO.CODE, MRCONSO.SDUI

<MedicalTopicID langcode> attribute:
MRCONSO.LAT, MRSAB.LAT (only English terms from MedlinePlus are included in the Metathesaurus).
The name of the Health Topic page on MedlinePlus. There is one <MedicalTopicName> code per <MedicalTopic>.
Example: <MedicalTopicName>Parkinson's Disease</MedicalTopicName>
TTY = "PT"
The URL for the corresponding health topic page on MedlinePlus. There is one <URL> code per <MedicalTopic>.
Example: <URL></URL>

The full text of the health topic summary. There is one <FullSummary> per <MedicalTopic>.
The date the health topic was first available on the MedlinePlus site. There is one <DateCreated> code per <MedicalTopic>.
The name of the see reference as it appears on MedlinePlus. In most cases, the <SeeReference> has associated <MeshHeading> information.

Example: <SeeRefName>Shaking Palsy</SeeRefName>
TTY = "ET"
The Medical Subject Heading information associated with a <SeeReference> or <MedicalTopic>. There may be more than one <MeshHeading> associated with a <SeeReference> or <MedicalTopic>.

This tag and the information in the <DescriptorName> and <DescriptorUI> below will always appear for each associated <MeshHeading>.

Corresponds to the associated Medical Subject Heading.
Example: <DescriptorName>Parkinson Disease</DescriptorName>

The unique identification number for the Medical Subject Heading in the <DescriptorName> above.
Example: <DescriptorUI>D010300</DescriptorUI>
MRREL.RELA = mapped_from/mapped_to

Note: Because the combination of the Descriptor and Qualifier taken together represent the expressed relationship, the pair of rels are given a relationship group code to link them together.
Lists any Medical Subject Heading subheadings associated with the <Descriptor>. This tag will does exist for every <MeshHeading>.

Name of the subheading.
Example: <QualifierName>injuries</QualifierName>

The Medical Subject Heading Unique Identifier associated with the <QualifierName> above.
Example: <QualifierUI>Q000293</QualifierUI>

MRREL.RELA = mapping_qualifier_of/has_mapping_qualifier

Note: Because the combination of the Descriptor and Qualifier taken together represent the expressed relationship, the pair of rels are given a relationship group code to link them together.

Refers to the Medical Topic Groups of which the <MedicalTopic> is a member. A <MedicalTopic> must be a member of at least one group; it may be a member of several groups.


For each group to which the <MedicalTopic> belongs, information is provided on:

Unique identification number for the health topic group.
Example: <GroupID>6</GroupID>

Name of the health group this topic belongs to.
Example: <GroupName>Seniors' Health</GroupName>

URL of the health group page.
Example: <GroupURL></GroupURL>

Group information is used to create the hierarchy, as represented in MRHIER.

Lists any synonyms associated with the topic. A topic may have zero or more synonyms. 
Example: <Synonym>Gestational diabetes</Synonym>

TTY = "SY"


The "see related" medical topics associated with this <MedicalTopic>. Not every topic has an associated <RelatedTopic>. There may be more than one <RelatedTopic>. The <RelatedTopic> is referred to by the <MedicalTopic> ID attribute described above.
Example: <RelatedTopics><RelatedTopic IDREF="T520"/></RelatedTopics>

MRREL.RELA = "related_to"

This ID is for the corresponding topic in English or Spanish.
Example: <LanguageMappedTopicID>134<LanguageMappedTopicID>

Not applicable, since Spanish is not included in the Metathesaurus.


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Element Representation
<Group langcode>

Indicates language (Spanish or English)
Spanish-language groups are not included in the Metathesaurus.
TTY = "HT"