Methodless codes

I understand that some groups of lab codes contain a methodless code and others don’t.

For component of : HIV 1 RNA

and context quantitiative - viral load


We are mapping clinical trials data (from HIV) to LOINC and we don’t know the method they used.

We would benefit from having a methodless code for this context.

The guidance here is very limited

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What is the policy of approving a methodless code?

Are they generally discouraged to even be submitted? (create noise in the LOINC as a terminology)


HIV 1 RNA CSF Qn 2 41497-9,41498-7 Probe.amp.tar|Probe.amp.tar
HIV 1 RNA Plas Qn 4 23876-6,29539-4,59419-2,70241-5 Probe.amp.sig|Probe.amp.sig|Probe.amp.sig|Probe.amp.tar detection limit = 20 copies/mL
HIV 1 RNA Ser/Plas Qn 15 10351-5,10682-3,20447-9,21008-8,29541-0,41513-3,41514-1,41515-8,41516-6,48510-2,48511-0,48551-6,48552-4,51780-5,62469-2 Probe.amp|Probe.amp|Probe.amp.tar|Probe|Probe.amp.tar|Probe.amp detection limit = 400 copies/mL|Probe.amp detection limit = 2.6 log copies/mL|Probe.amp detection limit = 75 copies/mL|Probe.amp detection limit = 1.9 log copies/mL|Probe.amp.tar detection limit = 1.7 log copies/mL|Probe.amp.tar detection limit = 50 copies/mL|Probe.amp.tar detection limit = 400 copies/mL|Probe.amp.tar detection limit = 2.6 log copies/mL|Probe.amp.tar detection limit = 0.5 log copies/mL|Probe.amp.tar
HIV 1 RNA XXX Qn 2 25836-8,49890-7 Probe.amp.tar|Probe.amp.tar

Hello Vojtech,

Please consider 21333-0 as a methodless HIV 1 RNA code (presuming specimen is SERUM). You’ll see on the comprehensive view in RELMA that units of measure for this term are copies/mL, which covers viral load.

We appreciate your asking about terms in this Forum, before making new submissions. We welcome all the clinical trials labs that are working on their catalogs!

All the best,

Pam Banning, Lab LOINC Committee co-chair