March 2015 Q & A

Question: Atherectomy of Left Arm

Could you please clarify the uses of code 0234T? The CPT description says, "transluminal peripheral atherectomy." Since there is a separate code for the brachiocephalic trunk and branches (0237T) on the right side of the body, does this mean that 0234T may be used for atherectomies in the left arm, as well as renal atherectomies?


Answer:

No. CPT code 0234T is for atherectomy of the Renal arteries only. The basic description for all the atherectomies is in the CPT Codebook preceding code 0234T, but applies to 0234T-0238T. CPT code 0237T is for atherectomy of the brachiocephalic trunk and branches and includes all arteries of both upper extremities, such as the brachiocephalic, both subclavian arteries, auxiliaries, brachial arteries, radials and ulnar arteries, along with the arterial anastomosis of an upper extremity fistula or shunt ... it is NOT limited to the brachiocephalic artery and right arm. The left subclavian IS a brachiocephalic artery and code 0237T applies to both the right and left arms, and it may be coded for each branch or vessel treated with atherectomy technique.