Home » Categories » Respiratory Therapy Coding

Bronchial Alveolar Lavage


Can you tell me the difference between cell washing in CPT 31622 and bronchial alveolar lavage in CPT 31624? 


Here is information from CPT Assistant, September 2004, pages 8-9:


"Code 31624, Bronchoscopy, rigid or flexible, with or without fluoroscopic guidance; with bronchial alveolar lavage, describes bronchoscopy with alveolar lavage, which is not the same as routine "washings." Bronchial alveolar lavage (BAL) allows the recovery of cells as well as noncellular components from the epithelial surface of the lower respiratory tract. This differs significantly from washings, which refer only to the aspiration of secretions or small amounts of instilled saline from larger airways. Bronchial alveolar lavage involves repeated instillations of sterile saline occurring in aliquots with aspiration into one or more containers. Large amounts of saline are pushed into the airway and then recovered by suction. Sequential and separate aspirations are numbered for laboratory testing. This particular type of bronchoscopy aids in the diagnoses of unusual infections in immunocompromised hosts and guides therapy in chronic inflammatory or fibrotic disorders such as pulmonary fibrosis and rheumatoid lung disease."

Disclaimer: All articles intended for general guidance only and not as a recommendation for a specific situation. Readers should consult an official source (AHA, AMA, etc.) or a qualified attorney for specific legal guidance.

Attachments Attachments
There are no attachments for this article.
Comments Comments
There are no comments for this article. Be the first to post a comment.
Related Articles RSS Feed
Pulse Ox
Viewed 1733 times since Sun, Feb 17, 2013
Inhalation Treatment
Viewed 1760 times since Thu, Sep 15, 2011
82805 billed same day as 94760
Viewed 1429 times since Tue, Sep 20, 2011
Bronchodilator Treatment Included in CPT 94060
Viewed 6292 times since Wed, Nov 17, 2010
Nebulized Therapy
Viewed 660 times since Fri, Dec 21, 2012
CPT Code 94664
Viewed 10165 times since Wed, Nov 17, 2010
Oxygen Per Hour
Viewed 2474 times since Wed, Nov 17, 2010
Oxygen set up
Viewed 1071 times since Wed, Feb 8, 2012
Incentive Spirometry Treatment
Viewed 2571 times since Sat, Jan 7, 2012
Respiratory Assessment
Viewed 1916 times since Wed, Nov 17, 2010
Quorum Health Resources, LLC :: 105 Continental Place Brentwood, TN 37027 :: Phone: (615) 371-4506