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The Pre-Eclampsia Ontology: A Disease Ontology Representing the Domain Knowledge Specific to Pre-Eclampsia.


Pre-eclampsia (PE) is a clinical syndrome characterized by new-onset hypertension and proteinuria at ≥20 weeks of gestation, and is a leading cause of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality. Previous studies have gathered abundant data about PE such as risk factors and pathological findings. However, most of these data are not semantically structured. Clinical data on PE patients are often generated with semantic heterogeneity such as using disparate terminology to describe the same phenomena. In clinical studies, interoperability of heterogenic clinical data is required in various situations. In such a situation, it is necessary to develop an interoperable and standardized semantic framework to research the pathology of PE more comprehensively and to achieve interoperability of heterogenic clinical data of PE patients. In this study, we developed an ontology representing clinical features, treatments, genetic factors, environmental factors, and other aspects of the current knowledge in the domain of PE. We call this pre-eclampsia ontology "PEO". To achieve interoperability with other ontologies, the core structure of PEO was compliant with the hierarchy of the Basic Formal Ontology (BFO). The PEO incorporates a wide range of key concepts and terms of PE from clinical and biomedical research in structuring the knowledge base that is specific to PE; therefore, PEO is expected to enhance PE-specific information retrieval and knowledge discovery in both clinical and biomedical research fields.