FAQ: Colonoscopy

on Tuesday, 02 April 2019. All News Items | FAQ


A Colonoscopy was performed to identify the source of GI bleeding in a patient.  The physician diagnosed arteriovenous malformation (AVM) of the large intestine.  However, this condition is assigned to a congenital code, Arteriovenous Malformation of Digestive System Vessel (Q27.33), which is not specifically documented in the record.  In prior ICD-9-CM Coding Clinics, we did not use the congenital codes and were instructed to code AVM to Angiodysplasia.  Is this still the case in ICD-10-CM?


Yes, assign a code for Angiodysplasia of Colon with Hemorrhage (55.21) for the bleeding AVM of the large intestine.  These codes are not assigned to a congenital code as they are believed to be degenerative in nature.

Vascular Ectasias, also known as Angiodysplasias and Arteriovenous Malformations are dilated vessels that develop in the cecum and ascending colon.  They occur in people >60 years of age and are the most common cause of lower GI bleeding.  They appear as bright red, can be flat or raised and covered by thin tissue.


Coding Clinic:

                3rd Quarter 2018, page 21

                4th Quarter 1990, page 4

                3rd Quarter 1996, page 9-10

Vascular GI Lesions – Gastrointestinal Disorders Merck Manual


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