ICD Code

The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, more commonly known as the ICD, is a list of diseases classified by signs, symptoms, and causes.  Developed and published by the World Health Organization (WHO), this system allows any health condition to be classified with a code of up to six digits.  It is currently in its tenth edition, with an eleventh set to be completed by 2015.

The code began in the 1850s as the International List of Causes of Death.  When the WHO was created in 1948, it assumed responsibility for the code, publishing its sixth edition and adding causes of morbidity to the list.  Having an international standardized coding system for diseases allows doctors or statisticians to analyze the health of population groups, record the incidence and prevalence of disease, store and retrieve vital medical information, and compile statistics.

What is the ICD-10?

Work began on the ICD-10 in 1983 and ended in 1992; the new code was implemented the next year.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began using the updated code in 1999; however, some U.S. medical organizations like Medicare and Medicaid services will not begin using the ICD-10 until 2013.

The ICD-10-CM, the U.S.-specific clinical modification of the code, expands each designation from three digits to six, allowing for continued growth as new medical discoveries are made.  The number of possible codes has gone from 13,600 to approximately 69,000.  It also allows for greater subtlety; for example, in the case of an ovarian condition, the ICD-10-CM differentiates between the right ovary, left ovary, a bilateral condition, or unspecified.

What is Mesothelioma’s ICD code?

Though the tenth version has replaced the ninth in many areas of the world, the ICD-9-CM is still in use in some parts of the United States.  Under that system, malignant pleural mesothelioma (chest) is assigned the code 163, peritoneal mesothelioma (abdomen) is assigned 158, and tumors of the heart such as pericardial mesothelioma are assigned 164.

In the ICD-10’s second chapter, mesothelioma falls under the broad category of malignant neoplasms, specifically those of the mesothelial and soft tissue.  Malignant mesothelioma as a whole has the designation of C45, with its types classified as following:

  • Pleural mesothelioma – C45.0
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma – C45.1
  • Pericardial mesothelioma – C45.2
  • Mesothelioma of other sites – C45.7
  • Mesothelioma, unspecified – C45.9