Radiology Question for the Week of June 20, 2016

Question:

Question:

Can you tell me the difference between the following CPT codes?

62270   Spinal puncture, lumbar, diagnostic

62272   Spinal puncture, therapeutic, for drainage of cerebrospinal fluid (by needle or catheter)   

Answer:

Answer:

As the descriptions indicate, 62270 is purely diagnostic and 62272 is therapeutic (i.e., used to decrease intrathecal pressure). In the case of 62272, the fluid also may be used for diagnostic purposes, but the primary reason the lumbar puncture is for treatment. 

Clinical Examples in Radiology, Winter 2014, states:  “If the procedure was performed to decrease intrathecal pressure by draining the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), it would be considered a therapeutic lumbar puncture, and Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) code 62272, Spinal puncture, therapeutic, for drainage of cerebrospinal fluid (by needle or catheter), would be reported… A therapeutic spinal puncture differs from a diagnostic lumbar puncture. A diagnostic lumbar puncture is performed to collect samples of CSF to help diagnose infections such as meningitis or encephalitis, subarachnoid hemorrhage, inflammatory conditions of the nervous system (eg, multiple sclerosis), and malignancy involving the brain, spinal cord, or meninges.”