Exploitation of semantic methods to cluster pharmacovigilance terms

Abstract : Pharmacovigilance is the activity related to the collection, analysis and prevention of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) induced by drugs. This activity is usually performed within dedicated databases (national, European, international...), in which the ADRs declared for patients are usually coded with a specific controlled terminology MedDRA (Medical Dictionary for Drug Regulatory Activities). Traditionally, the detection of adverse drug reactions is performed with data mining algorithms, while more recently the groupings of close ADR terms are also being exploited. The Standardized MedDRA Queries (SMQs) have become a standard in pharmacovigilance. They are created manually by international boards of experts with the objective to group together the MedDRA terms related to a given safety topic. Within the MedDRA version 13, 84 SMQs exist, although several important safety topics are not yet covered. The objective of our work is to propose an automatic method for assisting the creation of SMQs using the clustering of semantically close MedDRA terms. The experimented method relies on semantic approaches: semantic distance and similarity algorithms, terminology structuring methods and term clustering. The obtained results indicate that the proposed unsupervised methods appear to be complementary for this task, they can generate subsets of the existing SMQs and make this process systematic and less time consuming.
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Marie Dupuch, Laëtitia Dupuch, Thierry Hamon, Natalia Grabar. Exploitation of semantic methods to cluster pharmacovigilance terms. Journal of Biomedical Semantics, BioMed Central, 2014, 5, pp.18. ⟨10.1186/2041-1480-5-18⟩. ⟨hal-01329109⟩

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