Radiology Question for the Week of November 30, 2015

Question:

How should this procedure be reported: contrast-enhanced dual-energy virtual noncontrast CT imaging studies performed with a dual-energy scanner (two tubes at two different kV levels simultaneously scanning the same body region)?

Answer:

Dual-source CT imaging should be coded just like any other CT imaging studies. CT services are coded based upon the body part(s) imaged, and whether or not intravenous, intrathecal or intra-articular contrast was administered.

CPT codes make no distinction between the multislice capability of scanners or the number of x-ray sources in the equipment. The codes for pre- and post-contrast imaging are reserved for situations where dedicated pre- and post-contrast imaging are both medically necessary and separately performed. Virtual noncontrast images are not to be reported as real pre-contrast images.

Disclaimer: Every reasonable effort was made to ensure the accuracy of this information at the time it was published. However, due to the nature of industry changes over time we cannot guarantee its validity after the year it was published.