Advancing excellence in laboratory medicine for better healthcare worldwide

Nomenclature, Properties and Units (C-NPU) in collaboration with International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC)

The IFCC-IUPAC coding system

Provides a terminology for Properties and Units in the Clinical Laboratory Sciences. The availability of electronic patient records would greatly increase the quality of health care, reduce health care cost and facilitate epidemiological surveys to the benefit of patient's worldwide. In developing a generalized architectural build up and adherent structures, there is a need for systems and schemes in each of the medical domains to support and populate the electronic patient record. In the domain of clinical laboratory medicine the guidelines from IFCC-IUPAC on the structuring of properties, on kind-of-properties and on units are needed if a coherent system with global acceptance is to be worked out.

The C-NPU maintains the website below to make available the complete contents of the generic C-NPU database for electronic downloading. The website outlines the structure of the NPU terminology and provides instructions for using the database. NPU Laboratory Terminology website:

A current version of the C-NPU database (in English) is also available for direct download

A searchable database can be accessed by clicking on this link

(last update September 24, 2021)

IFCC-IUPAC / C-NPU documents

The background for the IFCC-IUPAC coding system for laboratory investigations is described in the publications.
Also a series of documents from the Word Health Organization, from the European Standardization Committee and many international organizations have been adhered to in the course of the project, in particular for coding of concepts defined by these organizations e.g. CAS, ATCC, UMLS, CLSI, UMD, INN, ISTH, OMIM.

C-NPU Publications

  • "An Ontology of Property for Physical Chemical and Biological Systems", by Dr. René Dybkaer:

  • Published papers on Properties and Units in the Clinical Laboratory Sciences include:

  1. IUPAC-IFCC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry & International Federation of Clinical Chemistry, Commission on Clinical Chemistry), 1967. Quantities and units in clinical chemistry. Recommendation 1966. Prepared for publication by Dybkær R, Jørgensen K. Copenhagen: Munksgaard.
  2. J.C.Riggs, S.S.Brown, R.Dybkær, and H.Olesen,: Compendium of terminology and nomenclature of properties in clinical laboratory sciences ('The Silver Book'). IUPAC: Oxford: Blackwell Science, 1995, 290 pp. a volume in the IUPAC Nomenclature Books series ('The Silver Book'). Synopsis
  3. H.P. Lehmann, X.Fuentes-Arderiu and L.F.Bertello, Glossary of Terms in quantities and units in clinical Chemistry, Pure and Applied Chemistry 1996:68:957-1000.
  4. EN 1614:2006  Health Informatics – Representation of dedicated kinds of property in laboratory medicine

An extensive list of scientific publications from the joint IFCC-IUPAC Committee is available at

Committee on Nomenclature for Properties and Units (C-NPU), in collaboration with International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC)


NamePositionCountryTermTime in Office
Y.B.L. HansenChairDK1st2021 01 - 2023 12
S. DeverajMemberUS1st2020 03 - 2022 12
K. FurutaMemberJP1st2019 02 - 2021 12
F. Meric YilmazMemberTR1st2021 03 - 2023 12
E. van der HagenMemberNL2nd2021 01 - 2023 12
G. NordinConsultantSE

Terms of Reference

  • To continuously provide advice in relation to the management, updating and publishing of NPU terminology.
  • To make recommendations on NPU for reporting clinical laboratory data that conform to or adapt current standards of authoritative organizations, and that will improve their utilization for health care.
  • To provide a connection with other organizations concerned with NPU, such as the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM), the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and, by extension, clinical laboratory sciences societies, such as the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), and the in vitro diagnostics industry, to ensure that problems encountered by health care professionals in the area of NPU are considered by those organizations.
  • To act as a consultant group on NPU in clinical chemistry and, by extension, in the rest of clinical laboratory sciences to international scientific panels, regional and national clinical laboratory sciences organizations, editors of scientific journals, manufacturers of clinical laboratory instrumentation and products, and to individual clinical laboratory professionals and other health care professionals.
  • To report and offer advice to the SD Chair and the SD Executive Committee on matters concerning NPU in all its aspects (all items above).

Current Projects

  • Revision of Terms of reference
  • To establish a Laboratory Information Data Model and a coherent concept system that will support comparisons of laboratory results.
  • To provide an online platform that presents the principles and rules of the NPU terminology, including recommendations of measurement units to clinical laboratorians. The platform has been established on, and is under development.

List of Corresponding Members, nominated by National Societies

NameFull and Affiliate Member Societies
Gilbert HillCanadian Society of Clinical Chemistry (CSCC)
Aracelis GermánColegio Dominicano de Bionalistas (CODOBIO)
Alessandro MarocchiItalian Society of Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Molecular Biology (SIBioC)
Naohito Ishii
Japan Society of Clinical Chemistry (JSCC)
Dalius VitkusLithuanian Society of Laboratory Medicine
Aaron OjuleAssociation of Clinical Chemists Nigeria (ACCN)
Karin ToskaNorwegian Society of Medical Biochemistry (NSMB)
Valentina NaztmutdinovaAssociation of Laboratory Specialists and Organizations
«Federation of laboratory medicine» (FLM) - Russia
Nada Majkic-SinghSociety of Medical Biochemists of Serbia (DMBS)
Carlos LacavaAsociación Bioquímica Uruguaya (ABU)

Committee Chair's contact:

Dr. Young Bae L. HANSEN 
Medical Officer, PhD

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