The International Conference for the Ninth Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9), convened by WHO, met in Geneva from 30 September to 6 October 1975. In the discussions leading up to the conference, it had originally been intended that there should be little change other than updating of the classification. This was mainly because of the expense of adapting data processing systems each time the classification was revised.

There had been an enormous growth of interest in the ICD and ways had to be found of responding to this, partly by modifying the classification itself and partly by introducing special coding provisions. A number of representations were made by specialist bodies which had become interested in using the ICD for their own statistics. Some subject areas in the classification were regarded as inappropriately arranged and there was considerable pressure for more detail and for adaptation of the classification to make it more relevant for the evaluation of medical care, by classifying conditions to the chapters concerned with the part of the body affected rather than to those dealing with the underlying generalized disease.[1]

At the other end of the scale, there were representations from countries and areas where a detailed and sophisticated classification was irrelevant, but which nevertheless needed a classification based on the ICD in order to assess their progress in health care and in the control of disease. A field test with a bi-axial classification approach—one axis (criterion) for anatomy, with another for etiology—showed the impracticability of such approach for routine use.

The final proposals presented to and accepted by the Conference in 1978[1] retained the basic structure of the ICD, although with much additional detail at the level of the four digit subcategories, and some optional five digit subdivisions. For the benefit of users not requiring such detail, care was taken to ensure that the categories at the three digit level were appropriate.

For the benefit of users wishing to produce statistics and indexes oriented towards medical care, the Ninth Revision included an optional alternative method of classifying diagnostic statements, including information about both an underlying general disease and a manifestation in a particular organ or site. This system became known as the dagger and asterisk system and is retained in the Tenth Revision. A number of other technical innovations were included in the Ninth Revision, aimed at increasing its flexibility for use in a variety of situations.

It was eventually replaced by ICD-10, the version currently in use by the WHO and most countries. Given the widespread expansion in the tenth revision, it is not possible to convert ICD-9 data sets directly into ICD-10 data sets, although some tools are available to help guide users.[2] Publication of ICD-9 without IP restrictions in a world with evolving electronic data systems led to a range of products based on ICD-9, such as MeDRA or the Read directory.[3][4]


When ICD-9 was published by the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Classification of Procedures in Medicine (ICPM) was also developed (1975) and published (1978). The ICPM surgical procedures fascicle was originally created by the United States, based on its adaptations of ICD (called ICDA), which had contained a procedure classification since 1962. ICPM is published separately from the ICD disease classification as a series of supplementary documents called fascicles (bundles or groups of items). Each fascicle contains a classification of modes of laboratory, radiology, surgery, therapy, and other diagnostic procedures. Many countries have adapted and translated the ICPM in parts or as a whole and are using it with amendments since then.[3][4]


International Classification of Diseases, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) is an adaption created by the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and used in assigning diagnostic and procedure codes associated with inpatient, outpatient, and physician office utilization in the United States. The ICD-9-CM is based on the ICD-9 but provides for additional morbidity detail. It is updated annually on October 1.[5][6]

It consists of two or three volumes:

The NCHS and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are the U.S. governmental agencies responsible for overseeing all changes and modifications to the ICD-9-CM.

See alsoEdit



This article was written by Roy Tan.

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