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Thread: claudication/rest pain vs. embolism/thrombosis

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Aurora, IL

    Exclamation claudication/rest pain vs. embolism/thrombosis

    AAPC: Back to School
    Hello and Happy Holidays! I was wondering if someone can tell me the difference between the diagnosis codes, 440.22 (atherosclerosis with rest pain) and 444.22 (arterial embolism or thrombosis of lower extremity) and which one is of higher specificity. I assumed that 444.22, the actual clot, should be coded first because atherosclerosis is just the process of a clot developing.....is this wrong? I'm still learning and would appreciate any feedback. Thanks so much!
    Chrissy, CPC

  2. #2


    440.2x is a chronic condition that cause plaque to build up on the walls of the artery constrictinf the flow and can cause a complete blockage of the artery. 444.21 is an acute thrombus(clot) the cause an obstruction to the vessel. Think of a pipe if the gunk build up ofer time on the side and makes the opening narrower and narrower and has to be bascially scrapped out that is atherosclosis. if it just gets a big hair ball in it and you use a "snake" to get it out that is an thrombus.
    Hope that helps.
    Merry Christmas

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