What is the IC code

What does ICD mean?

ICD code

The abbreviation "ICD" stands for: "International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems". The official German translation for this is: "International statistical classification of diseases and related health problems". What is meant is the internationally recognized system for encrypting diagnoses. The ICD-10 edition is currently valid worldwide; the ICD-11 edition will come into effect in 2022.

Why diagnostic encryption?

With the ICD code (or: ICD diagnosis code) every disease can be clearly identified worldwide. This enables international health statistics to be systematically compared with one another.

In Germany, outpatient and inpatient care doctors are obliged to encode their diagnoses in accordance with ICD-10-GM (German Modification): This is a version of the internationally valid version ICD-10-WHO that has been adapted to the requirements of the German health care system. It is closely based on the version of the WHO in order to enable international comparisons and studies. The coding according to ICD-10-GM is used to document incapacity for work and for billing purposes.

In addition, the international version ICD-10-WHO is used in Germany: Since 1998 it has been used in Germany to encode causes of death and thus forms the basis for internationally comparable official statistics on causes of death.

How does the ICD encryption work?

ICD-10 consists of 22 chapters, which thematically cover the area of ​​all diseases. The so-called organ-specific chapters III to XIV form the core area. Diseases that cannot be assigned to a specific organ are summarized in the other chapters. The chapters are divided into groups / areas and the groups into categories. The categories usually have sub-categories.

A category of the ICD (three-digit) for the designation of an illness consists of a preceding letter and two following digits. Example: “A00” stands for cholera. For a more precise description of the disease type, further digits are used after the two digits and after a point. Example: “A00.1” stands for “El Tor Cholera”, which is caused by a special strain of bacteria. The disease cholera and its types are classified in the group “Infectious intestinal diseases” (A00-A09) in Chapter I “Certain infectious and parasitic diseases” (A00-B99).

Would you like to search for the diagnosis breakdown of a specific ICD code? Simply enter your existing ICD code into the ICD code search.


  • German Institute for Medical Documentation and Information. ICD-10-GM. Accessed on May 20, 2020.
  • World Health Organization. ICD-10. Accessed on May 20, 2020.