Neurosurgery Coding Alert

Reader Questions:

Arnold-Chiari = Encephalocele

Question: Encounter notes indicate that a patient suffered from “arnold chiari type 3.” How should I choose an ICD-10 code for this condition?

Florida Subscriber

Answer: Your provider is referencing Arnold-Chiari syndrome, type III, which has a few diagnosis code options under the Q01.- (Encephalocele) heading in the ICD-10 manual. There is an answer to this question, but you need one more piece of information to choose the most accurate code: location of the encephalocele.

Do this: Go back and check the notes; then, choose from one of the following ICD-10 codes:

  • Q01.0 (Frontal encephalocele)
  • Q01.1 (Nasofrontal encephalocele)
  • Q01.2 (Occipital encephalocele)
  • Q01.8 (Encephalocele of other sites)
  • Q01. 9 (Encephalocele, unspecified)

Other synonyms: According to ICD-10, you’ll choose from the Q01.- code set when a patient suffers from:

  • Arnold-Chiari syndrome, type III
  • Encephalocystocele
  • Encephalomyelocele
  • Hydroencephalocele
  • Hydromeningocele, cranial
  • Meningocele, cerebral
  • Meningoencephalocele.