There are many radiology procedure codes in CPT codebook. But, it is really difficult to understand the procedure performed behind the CPT code. As we have seen previously, the use of radioactive agent for parathyroid imaging and bone scan procedure codes, which are also a part of radiology procedure codes. In this article again we are going to learn more about the use of radiopharmaceutical therapy for thyroid procedures for CPT code 79005 and 79001. Yes, we are going to learn the oral and intravenous administration of radioactive agent to diagnose the abnormalities of thyroid gland. Let us check more about these procedures.
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Exam performed for CPT code 79005 and 79001
The radiopharmaceutical therapy for thyroid gland can be done by oral or intravenous administration. The CPT codes 79005 and 79001 are differentiated by the technique of the exam performed. In this exam, a radiopharmaceutical agent is given intravenous or orally. For oral exam the patient swallows the radiolabeled substance. The technique is to attach the radiolabeled molecules to the specific tissue seeking molecules. The activity of these radioactive substances helps in diagnosing different types cancer or malfunctioning tissues. For example, of radioactive iodine, I-131 given to the patient orally, to treat thyroid cancers and hormone overproduction (hyperthyroidism) since iodine is specifically taken up by thyroid cells. The same procedure follows in intravenous administration. The patient is injected or instilled radiolabeled substance directly in a vein. For example, a radioactive phosphorus, P-32 as sodium phosphate administered by intravenous injection, since phosphorus-32 has a high bone marrow toxicity, it is used for treating polycythemia vera and chronic leukemia to slow the rate at which bone marrow produce cells and induce a state of remission. These exams are slightly different from the thyroid exams for 78018 CPT code or thyroid ablation therapy procedures. HCPCS code are also assigned for the radioactive agent used for these procedures.
79005 – Radiopharmaceutical therapy, by oral administration
79001- Radiopharmaceutical therapy, by intravenous administration