PURPOSE OF REVIEWSince the discovery of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), there have been conflicting reports as to the precise phenotypic identity, and thus an accurate description of the function of these cells in disease pathology is lacking. This review will detail the protocols that have been published within 2010 to help decipher the true identity of the various cells that have been reported as EPCs in numerous clinical trials.RECENT FINDINGSThroughout 2010, three protocols have been published alleging to identify EPCs, yet only one provides a true nonhematopoietic origin for a cell that is classified as an EPC. In addition to the protocols published to try to establish a consensus definition, 10 studies involving EPCs across disease pathologies were published with various degrees of correlation to disease phenotype and cellular level.SUMMARYA true phenotypic definition of a circulating EPC capable of becoming an endothelial colony forming cell with proliferative potential has been given. It is now time the EPC field drops this ambiguous term (i.e. EPCs), as many studies purporting to measure EPCs are in fact still quantifying cells of a hematopoietic origin. It is necessary for cross study comparisons that a uniform phenotypic definition be adhered to when using the term EPC.