Carotid artery disease is caused by build up of plaque over time within the carotid artery. This causes the carotid artery to become stiff and narrow. Stenosis is the abnormal narrowing or constriction of a passageway or opening (could be of a blood vessel or a tubular organ/structure).
Carotid artery disease is the same thing as carotid arterial stenosis. The narrowing or the carotid artery.
By coding carotid artery disease to 433.10, it encompasses both the symptomatic or asymptomatic disease and could represent either an embolism, narrowing, obstruction, or thrombosis within this artery, but does not need to represent all of those conditions at once. The description of the code within the ICD-9-CM clearly shows that it includes any of those terms. So in referring to carotid artery disease as the narrowing of the carotid artery, this is clearly within the code definition of 433.10.
Please also note as a comparison...when coding coronary artery disease, 414.00-414.07, here it is actually representing coronary atherosclerosis (hardening of the coronary artery), and is looked up in the alpha index under "atherosclerosis" and not "disease" (although looking under "disease" will tell you to look under "atherosclerosis"). Sometimes you have to look up a code using a different main term than you might first think, i.e. Narrowing or Stenosis instead of Disease for carotid artery disease.
Also, if you still choose to use other codes such as the 447.8 or 447.9, you should fully understand the difference between the two. 447.8 is technically arterial disease NEC (not elsewhere classified) while 447.9 is arterial disease NOS (not otherwise specified). Since the disease is specified, 447.8 is a better option. The "fibromuscular hyperplasia of arteries, except renal" that is mentioned under code 447.8 is there because it is a condition that is included within the scope/definition of the code, but that does not mean that the code is limited to only that disease or condition. Arteriectasis, acquired deformity of artery, Dego's Disease/Syndrome, etc. all code to 447.8.
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