Nuclear Medicine Question for the Week of March 7, 2016


I have an order from a doctor for a radiopharmaceutical injection into a chest port in nuclear medicine to check for patency. He doesn’t want the patient to have the radiology injection due to complications with the contrast in the past. What code would be used for this procedure? 


This would be 78800 (plus the code for the radiopharmaceutical). Codes 78800–78804 are usually used for tumor localization, but they also can be used in other cases for “distribution of radiopharmaceutical.” This allows for use in cases such as the port check because you are watching the distribution of the radiopharmaceutical to see if the port is open or not.