Nuclear Medicine Question for the Week of December 12, 2016

Question:

Question:

Does CPT® code 78815 include the brain? We have an oncologist that wants to order a positron emission tomography (PET) computed tomography (CT) scan from skull base to mid thighs, and our head radiologist is asking if that CPT® code would include the brain? He didn’t feel he needed to order a “whole body” scan.

Answer:

Answer:

Code 78815 could include the head if performed at the same time as the scanning from the skull base to the mid-thigh.

Clinical Examples in Radiology, a newsletter published jointly by the American Medical Association (AMA) and American College of Radiology (ACR), noted the following in its spring 2010 issue:

“When the brain is included in an extended skull base to mid-thigh study, the code for brain imaging …should not be used in addition to CPT® codes 78812 or 78815.”