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 December 23rd, 2022)



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)



Name Position Country Term Time in Office
Y.B.L. Hansen Chair DK 1st 2021 01 - 2023 12
R. Ceder Member SE 1st 2022 04 - 2024 12
S. Deveraj Member US 2nd  2023 01 - 2025 12
K. Furuta  Member JP 2nd  2022 01 - 2024 12
F. Meric Yilmaz Member TR 1st 2021 03 - 2023 12
G. Nordin Consultant SE    



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

Name Full and Affiliate Member Societies
Aracelis Germán Colegio Dominicano de Bionalistas (CODOBIO)
Naohito Ishii
Japan Society of Clinical Chemistry (JSCC)
Dalius Vitkus Lithuanian Society of Laboratory Medicine
Aaron Ojule Association of Clinical Chemists Nigeria (ACCN)
Karin Toska Norwegian Society of Medical Biochemistry (NSMB)
Valentina Naztmutdinova Association of Laboratory Specialists and Organizations
«Federation of laboratory medicine» (FLM) - Russia
Nada Majkic-Singh Society of Medical Biochemists of Serbia (DMBS)
Carlos Lacava Asociación Bioquímica Uruguaya (ABU)


Committee Chair's contact:

Dr. Young Bae L. HANSEN 
Medical Officer, PhD

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