The uremic syndrome is a complex mixture of organ dysfunctions, which is attributed to the retention of a myriad of compounds that under normal condition are excreted by the healthy kidneys (uremic toxins). In the area of identification and characterization of uremic toxins and in the knowledge of their pathophysiologic importance, major steps forward have been made during recent years. The present article is a review of several of these steps, especially in the area of information about the compounds that could play a role in the development of cardiovascular complications. It is written by those members of the Uremic Toxins Group, which has been created by the European Society for Artificial Organs (ESAO). Each of the 16 authors has written a state of the art in his/her major area of interest.