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.
Related Articles RSS Feed
Billing for CPR
Viewed 1532 times since Wed, Jan 4, 2012
Pulmonary Rehab
Viewed 1 times since Wed, Nov 17, 2010
SVN Treatment
Viewed 2155 times since Thu, May 26, 2011
Nebulizer treatment during blood transfusion
Viewed 1147 times since Fri, May 27, 2011
BIPAP Initiation and Management
Viewed 2879 times since Wed, Nov 17, 2010
Physician Supervision for Pulmonary Rehab
Viewed 3804 times since Tue, Apr 5, 2011
Report 94664 Reported 1 Time Only Per Day of Service
Viewed 2094 times since Wed, Nov 17, 2010
Viewed 1565 times since Mon, Mar 7, 2011
Nebulized Therapy
Viewed 1018 times since Fri, Dec 21, 2012
Technical and Professional Component of Stress Testing
Viewed 1836 times since Wed, Nov 17, 2010
Quorum Health Resources, LLC :: 105 Continental Place Brentwood, TN 37027 :: Phone: (615) 371-4506