Dearth of ICD Codes for Complications of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors Impedes Clinical Care and Research

Yee Ming M. Cheung, Ole Petter R. Hamnvik, Afreen Shariff, Emily J. Gallagher

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) are a rapidly expanding class of targeted therapies effective in the treatment of various cancers. However, while efficacious, ICIs have been associated with treatment complications, namely immune-related adverse events (irAEs). IrAEs of the endocrine system are among the most commonly reported irAEs, but despite their high incidence, standardized disease definitions and endocrine IrAE-specific International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes remain lacking. This dearth of standardized nomenclature and ICD codes has in many ways impeded both the clinical care of patients and the progress of endocrine irAE-related research. ICD codes are used internationally and are essential for medical claims reporting in the health care setting, and they provide a universal language system for recording, reporting, and monitoring diseases. These codes are also a well-accepted form of electronic health record data capture that facilitates the collection, storage, and sharing of data. Therefore, the lack of standardized disease definitions and ICD codes has been associated with misclassification and suboptimal management of individuals with endocrine irAEs and has also been associated with reduced data availability, comparability, and quality. Harmonized and clinically relevant disease definitions along with the subsequent development of endocrine-irAE-specific ICD codes will provide a systematic approach to understanding the spectrum and burden of endocrine irAE diseases, and will have a positive effect across clinical, public health, and research settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberbvad019
JournalJournal of the Endocrine Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2023


  • endocrine immune-related adverse effects
  • immune checkpoint inhibitors
  • immunotherapy
  • international classification of disease
  • nomenclature


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