Article (Scientific journals)
Modeling seizures in the Human Phenotype Ontology according to contemporary ILAE concepts makes big phenotypic data tractable
Lewis-Smith, David; Galer, Peter D.; Balagura, Ganna et al.
2021In Epilepsia, n/a (n/a)
Peer reviewed


Full Text
Publisher postprint (1.41 MB)

All documents in ORBilu are protected by a user license.

Send to


Keywords :
big data; classification; epilepsy; genetics
Abstract :
[en] Abstract Objective The clinical features of epilepsy determine how it is defined, which in turn guides management. Therefore, consideration of the fundamental clinical entities that comprise an epilepsy is essential in the study of causes, trajectories, and treatment responses. The Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO) is used widely in clinical and research genetics for concise communication and modeling of clinical features, allowing extracted data to be harmonized using logical inference. We sought to redesign the HPO seizure subontology to improve its consistency with current epileptological concepts, supporting the use of large clinical data sets in high-throughput clinical and research genomics. Methods We created a new HPO seizure subontology based on the 2017 International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) Operational Classification of Seizure Types, and integrated concepts of status epilepticus, febrile, reflex, and neonatal seizures at different levels of detail. We compared the HPO seizure subontology prior to, and following, our revision, according to the information that could be inferred about the seizures of 791 individuals from three independent cohorts: 2 previously published and 150 newly recruited individuals. Each cohort's data were provided in a different format and harmonized using the two versions of the HPO. Results The new seizure subontology increased the number of descriptive concepts for seizures 5-fold. The number of seizure descriptors that could be annotated to the cohort increased by 40 and the total amount of information about individuals' seizures increased by 38\%. The most important qualitative difference was the relationship of focal to bilateral tonic-clonic seizure to generalized-onset and focal-onset seizures. Significance We have generated a detailed contemporary conceptual map for harmonization of clinical seizure data, implemented in the official 2020-12-07 HPO release and freely available at This will help to overcome the phenotypic bottleneck in genomics, facilitate reuse of valuable data, and ultimately improve diagnostics and precision treatment of the epilepsies.
Disciplines :
Author, co-author :
Lewis-Smith, David
Galer, Peter D.
Balagura, Ganna
Kearney, Hugh
Ganesan, Shiva
Cosico, Mahgenn
O'Brien, Margaret
Vaidiswaran, Priya
Krause, Roland  ;  University of Luxembourg > Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) > Bioinformatics Core
Ellis, Colin A.
Thomas, Rhys H.
Robinson, Peter N.
Helbig, Ingo
More authors (3 more) Less
External co-authors :
Language :
Title :
Modeling seizures in the Human Phenotype Ontology according to contemporary ILAE concepts makes big phenotypic data tractable
Publication date :
05 May 2021
Journal title :
Volume :
Issue :
Peer reviewed :
Peer reviewed
Focus Area :
Systems Biomedicine
FnR Project :
FNR11583046 - Epileptogenesis Of Genetic Epilepsies, 2017 (01/04/2018-30/06/2021) - Roland Krause
Available on ORBilu :
since 17 May 2021


Number of views
58 (0 by Unilu)
Number of downloads
44 (0 by Unilu)

Scopus citations®
Scopus citations®
without self-citations
WoS citations


Similar publications

Contact ORBilu