Medical professionals discussing the diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary embolism for optimal patient care.

ICD10 Code for Pulmonary Embolism: Essential Information

A blood clot, usually called deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, can originate in the deep veins of the legs and migrate to the lungs, blocking one or more pulmonary arteries. This disease is known as pulmonary embolism, or PE. If this illness is not identified and treated right once, there might be a considerable risk of morbidity and fatality. A unique code for pulmonary embolism is provided by the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition (ICD-10), which helps medical practitioners with correct billing and documentation.

ICD 10 Code for Pulmonary Embolism

The specific code for pulmonary embolism in ICD-10 is I26. ICD-10, a widely used coding system, is crucial for healthcare providers, insurers, and researchers to accurately categorize and track various health conditions. The code I26 encompasses a range of pulmonary embolism scenarios, allowing for detailed classification based on factors such as location, chronicity, and associated complications.

Breaking Down ICD 10 Code I26

  1. I26.0 – Pulmonary Embolism with Mention of Acute Cor Pulmonale: This code is used when there is an acute blockage of the pulmonary arteries leading to acute cor pulmonale, a condition where the right side of the heart is strained due to increased pressure in the pulmonary arteries.
  2. I26.01 – Septic Pulmonary Embolism: When the pulmonary embolism is associated with a systemic infection leading to septicemia, I26.01 is the appropriate code.
  3. I26.02 – Saddle Embolus of Pulmonary Artery: This code is utilized when the blood clot lodges at the bifurcation of the main pulmonary artery, resembling a saddle in its position.
  4. I26.09 – Other Pulmonary Embolism without Acute Cor Pulmonale: This code covers cases of pulmonary embolism without acute cor pulmonale and includes situations where the specific details or circumstances of the embolism are not further specified.
  5. I26.90 – Unspecified Pulmonary Embolism without Acute Cor Pulmonale: In instances where the pulmonary embolism is not specified in terms of location or acuteness, I26.90 is used as an unspecified code.
  6. I26.92 – Chronic Pulmonary Embolism without Acute Cor Pulmonale: When the condition is chronic, indicating a long-standing issue rather than an acute event, I26.92 is the appropriate code.

Clinical Presentation and Diagnosis

Pulmonary embolism can present with a wide range of symptoms, making its diagnosis challenging. Common signs include shortness of breath, chest pain, rapid heart rate, and cough, which may produce bloody or blood-streaked sputum. Diagnostic modalities include imaging studies such as computed tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA), ventilation-perfusion (V/Q) scans, and D-dimer blood tests. The ICD-10 coding system allows healthcare providers to specify the nature and severity of the pulmonary embolism based on these diagnostic findings.

Risk Factors and Prevention

Understanding the risk factors for pulmonary embolism is crucial for both prevention and early intervention. Major risk factors include a history of DVT, surgery, trauma, prolonged immobilization, cancer, obesity, and certain genetic conditions that predispose individuals to blood clot formation. Preventive measures often involve anticoagulant medications, compression stockings, and early ambulation following surgery.

Treatment Approaches

Prompt and appropriate treatment is essential in managing pulmonary embolism. Anticoagulant therapy, such as heparin and warfarin, is commonly used to prevent further clot formation. In severe cases, thrombolytic therapy or surgical interventions may be necessary to remove or break up the clot. Supportive measures, such as oxygen therapy and pain management, are also integral to the overall care of individuals with pulmonary embolism.

Prognosis and Complications

The prognosis for pulmonary embolism varies depending on factors such as the size of the clot, the patient’s overall health, and the timeliness of intervention. Complications can include chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH), a condition characterized by persistent high blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries, and recurrent thromboembolic events.


Pulmonary embolism is a life-threatening condition that requires prompt recognition, diagnosis, and intervention. The ICD-10 coding system plays a crucial role in accurately documenting and categorizing cases of pulmonary embolism, enabling healthcare professionals to provide appropriate care and insurers to process claims efficiently. Increased awareness of risk factors, preventive measures, and treatment options is essential in reducing the morbidity and mortality associated with this condition. As medical knowledge and technology continue to advance, ongoing research and improvements in diagnostic and therapeutic approaches will further enhance the management of pulmonary embolism, ultimately improving patient outcomes.

Wasiur Rehman is fueled by a deep passion for advancing innovation in healthcare and medical research. He possesses a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science Engineering and has dedicated approximately two years to his role as a research analyst and SEO content writer. Currently, he is a valuable member of the DiseaseInfoHub team, serving as a content and research guide.

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