8.2 Coding Scheme Designator and Coding Scheme Version

The attribute Coding Scheme Designator (0008,0102) identifies the coding scheme in which the code for a term is defined. Standard coding scheme designators used in DICOM information interchange are listed in PS3.16. Other coding scheme designators, for both private and public coding schemes, may be used, in accordance with PS3.16. Further identification of the coding scheme designators used in a SOP Instance may be provided in the Coding Scheme Identification Sequence (0008,0110) (see Section C.12).


  1. Typical coding schemes used in DICOM include "DCM" for DICOM defined codes, "SRT" for SNOMED, and "LN" for LOINC. See Annex 8 “Coding Schemes” in PS3.16.

  2. Coding scheme designators beginning with "99" and the coding scheme designator "L" are defined in HL7 V2 to be private or local coding schemes.

  3. Most IODs that define the use of coded terms provide for the use of private codes and coding schemes through replacement of Baseline Context Groups or extension of Defined Context Groups. Systems supporting such private code use must provide a mechanism for the configuration of sets of Coding Scheme Designator, Code Value, and Code Meaning to support interoperation of the private codes with other systems.

  4. It is highly recommended that local or non-standard coding schemes be identified in the Coding Scheme Identification Sequence.

The attribute Coding Scheme Version (0008,0103) may be used to identify the version of a coding scheme if necessary to resolve ambiguity in Code Value (0008,0100) or Code Meaning (0008,0104). Coding Scheme Version (0008,0103) is not required for backward-compatible revisions of a coding scheme, as the Coding Scheme Designator (0008,0102) identifies the coding scheme as a whole as currently published by the responsible organization.


  1. See PS3.16 for a discussion of SNOMED Coding Scheme Designators 99SDM, SNM3, and SRT.

  2. ICD-10, for example, is not a backward-compatible revision of ICD-9, and hence it has a different Coding Scheme Designator, not simply a different Coding Scheme Version.