Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is more common as people get older. It affects about 8.5 million Americans over the age of 40 and those who smoke or have diabetes are at a higher risk.1,2 “Peripheral arterial disease (PAD),” “peripheral vascular disease (PVD)”, “spasm of artery” and “intermittent claudication” are coded as I73.9. It is important to note that this code excludes atherosclerosis of the extremities (I70.2- – I70.7-).
When atherosclerosis (arteriosclerosis) is diagnosed by the clinician, the progress note should state “arteriosclerosis of” and the site including laterality, “arteriosclerotic” or “arteriosclerosis with” followed by the symptom or complication (for example, arteriosclerosis of the legs with intermittent claudication bilaterally).
Arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis may be used interchangeably for documentation and coding purposes. Documentation of arteriosclerosis that lacks specificity is coded as I70.90.