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Hum Reprod. 2009 Nov;24(11):2683-7. doi: 10.1093/humrep/dep343. Epub 2009 Oct 4.

The International Committee for Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technology (ICMART) and the World Health Organization (WHO) Revised Glossary on ART Terminology, 2009.

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Unit of Reproductive Medicine, Clinicas las Condes, Santiago, Chile.



Many definitions used in medically assisted reproduction (MAR) vary in different settings, making it difficult to standardize and compare procedures in different countries and regions. With the expansion of infertility interventions worldwide, including lower resource settings, the importance and value of a common nomenclature is critical. The objective is to develop an internationally accepted and continually updated set of definitions, which would be utilized to standardize and harmonize international data collection, and to assist in monitoring the availability, efficacy, and safety of assisted reproductive technology (ART) being practiced worldwide.


Seventy-two clinicians, basic scientists, epidemiologists and social scientists gathered together at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland in December, 2008. Several months in advance, three working groups were established which were responsible for terminology in three specific areas: clinical conditions and procedures, laboratory procedures and outcome measures. Each group reviewed the existing ICMART glossary, made recommendations for revisions and introduced new terms to be considered for glossary expansion.


A consensus was reached on 87 terms, expanding the original glossary by 34 terms, which included definitions for numerous clinical and laboratory procedures. Special emphasis was placed in describing outcome measures such as cumulative delivery rates and other markers of safety and efficacy in ART.


Standardized terminology should assist in analysis of worldwide trends in MAR interventions and in the comparison of ART outcomes across countries and regions. This glossary will contribute to a more standardized communication among professionals responsible for ART practice, as well as those responsible for national, regional and international registries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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