The world of extracorporeal therapies is notable for a long list of terminologies, materials, and mechanisms that are commonly used in multiple manners that can lead to confusion and possibly medical errors. In 2016, a conference was held in Vicenza, Italy, to establish consensus on technical terminology and definitions relevant to the basic principles of renal replacement therapy and related technologies [1‒3]. The scope of this original meeting was relatively restricted, and thus a second meeting was held in November 2022 to harmonize terminologies and methodologies related to a much broader range of extracorporeal therapies. To achieve this goal, a group of international experts was brought together that included adult and pediatric providers as well as nephrologists, critical care physicians, and anesthesiologists. Over several days, these groups reviewed, debated, and ultimately recommended a standardized “dictionary” that defines terminology, methods, and materials utilized in extracorporeal therapies (both acute and chronic), which are published in this journal edition.

Why should we care? When terms and descriptions of methodologies are used in haphazard manners and without a clear and standardized definition, errors and misunderstandings occur and can lead to poor outcomes. Even simple terms such as ultrafiltration and net ultrafiltration may be used differently by clinicians; thus, it is critical to clearly define our terms to ensure that we are all talking about the same parameters and techniques. The three manuscripts from this recent meeting in Vicenza, Italy, cover the standardization of nomenclature for acute and chronic extracorporeal blood therapies as well as standardization of methodologies, mechanisms, and materials used to provide these therapies. In doing so, these groups, for the first time, clearly delineate precise definitions and descriptions that will provide a standardized vocabulary and lexicon for providers. This is not a trivial or mundane endeavor as now we have a strong foundation of clear terms that will guide a common understanding across the world as to what therapy is being provided to a given patient or within a clinical trial. A standardized international classification nomenclature of medical devices involved in extracorporeal therapies can now link to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) other international classification systems, such as the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health and for health products, the International Non-Proprietary Name for Medicines, in order to support organized and standardized information for policy-makers and managers. Furthermore, such standardization supports greater patient safety. Lastly, in the past, clinical trials with extracorporeal purification methodologies used various terms in haphazard and non-standardized manners. This makes comparisons across trials near impossible and confounds our understanding and applicability of results. Now, with standard terms and methodologies, clinical trial protocols can be more precise and comparable across sites and groups. We strongly advocate that all providers of extracorporeal therapies as well as trainees adopt these nomenclature standards [4‒6] and that moving forward, these descriptive terms are the norm for medical charting and communication, clinical trials, and reporting to the health systems.

Mitchell H. Rosner has received funding for lectures and has been consultant or advisory board member for AstraZeneca, Baxter, Reata, and Tavere. Claudio Ronco received consulting fees from Baxter, Jafron, and Nipro, and speaker honoraria from Baxter, bioMerieux, Asahi, Jafron, Estor, Nipro, AstraZeneca, and GE Healthcare.

This study was not supported by any sponsor or funder.

Mitchell H. Rosner and Claudio Ronco wrote this editorial.

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