Radiology Question for the Week of July 8, 2024


If left and right ultrasound exams for pleural effusions is performed, is it appropriate to report two units of code 76604? The code description states “includes mediastinum,” does that make it a unilateral or bilateral code?


If left and right examinations of the chest are performed, it is inappropriate to report two units of code 76604 as the code encompasses the entire chest area. Code 76604 is frequently used for (but is not limited to) evaluations of pleural effusions, mediastinal masses, and masses in the chest or the chest wall. The inclusion of the term “includes mediastinum” in the code description indicates that when the examination includes the mediastinum it should not be reported separately. Keep in mind that in cases where the exam is performed for pleural effusion, limited modifier 52 is not necessary.

This question was answered in our Ultrasound Coder. For more hot topics relating to radiology services, please visit our store or call us at 1.800.252.1578, ext. 2.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

CPT® copyright 2023 American Medical Association (AMA). All rights reserved.

Fee schedules, relative value units, conversion factors and/or related components are not assigned by the AMA, are not part of CPT, and the AMA is not recommending their use. The AMA does not directly or indirectly practice medicine or dispense medical services. The AMA assumes no liability for data contained or not contained herein.

CPT is a registered trademark of the American Medical Association.

Unlock 50% off all 2024 edition books when you order by July 5! Use the coupon code CO5024 at checkout to claim this offer!