MRI Heart - CAM 719

Description

  • CMR is an imaging modality used to assess cardiac or vascular anatomy, function, perfusion and tissuecharacteristics in a single examination. In lesions affecting the right heart, CMR provides excellent visualization and volume determination regardless of RV shape. This is particularly useful in patients with congenital heart disease
  • CMR Safety - Since many cardiac patients have cardiac implanted electrical devices), the risk of CMR to the patient and the device must be weighed against the benefit to the patient, in terms of clinical value in optimal management.

Cardiac magnetic imaging (CMR) is often required when transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) and transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) provide inadequate imaging data.

Stress CMR for assessment of coronary artery disease (CAD) is performed pharmacologically either as:

  • Vasodilator perfusion imaging with gadolinium contrast; OR
  • Dobutamine inotropic wall motion (ventriculography)

With respect to CAD evaluation, since CMR is only pharmacologic (non-exercise stress), and stress echocardiography (SE) or myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) provide similar information about CAD:

  • Requests for stress CMR require diversion to exercise SE first, and to exercise MPI second.
  • Exemptions for the diversion to SE or exercise MPI:
    • If body habitus or marked obesity (e.g. BMI ≥ 40) would interfere significantly with imaging with SE and PI
    • Evaluation of young (< 55 years old) patients with documented complex CAD, who are likely to need frequent non-invasive coronary ischemia evaluation and/or frequent radiation exposure from other testing

OVERVIEW
CMR in CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE (CAD)

Stable patients without known CAD fall into 2 categories:

  • Asymptomatic, for whom global risk of CAD events can be determined from coronary risk factors, using calculators available online
  • Symptomatic, for whom we estimate the pretest probability that their chest-related symptoms are due to clinically significant (≥ 50%) CAD (below):

The 3 Types of Chest Pain or Discomfort

  • Typical Angina (Definite) is defined as including all 3 characteristics:
    • Substernal chest pain or discomfort with characteristic quality and duration
    • Provoked by exertion or emotional stress
    • Relieved by rest and/or nitroglycerine
  • Atypical Angina (Probable) has only 2 of the above characteristics
  • Nonanginal Chest Pain/Discomfort has only 0 - 1 of the above characteristics

Once the type of chest pain has been established from the medical record, the pretest probability of CAD (meaning obstructive CAD defined as coronary arterial narrowing ≥ 50%) is estimated from the Diamond Forrester Table below, recognizing that in some cases multiple additional coronary risk factors could increase pretest probability: 

Age (Years)

Gender

Typical/Definite Angina Pectoris

Atypical/Probable Angina Pectoris

Nonanginal Chest Pain

≤ 39

Men

Intermediate

Intermediate

Low

 

Women 

Intermediate

Very low

Very Low 

40 - 49 

Men

High 

Intermediate 

Intermediate

 

Women 

Intermediate 

Low 

Very Low  

50 - 59 

Men

High  

Intermediate 

Intermediate 

 

Women 

Intermediate  

Intermediate 

Low 

≥ 60 

Men 

High   

Intermediate 

Intermediate 

 

Women 

High   

Intermediate 

Intermediate 

  • Very low: < 5% pretest probability of CAD, usually not requiring stress evaluation
  • Low: 5 - 10% pretest probability of CAD
  • Intermediate: 10% - 90% pretest probability of CAD
  • High: > 90% pretest probability of CAD 

Table 17. Suggested Follow-UP of Aortic Pathologies After Repair or Treatment 

Pathology

Interval

Study

Acute dissection

Before discharge, 1 mo, 6 mo, yearly

CT or MR, chest plus abdomen TTE

Chronic dissection

Before discharge, 1 y, 2 to 3 y

CT or MR, chest plus abdomen TTE

Aortic root repair

Before discharge, yearly

TTE

AVR plus ascending

Before discharge, yearly

TTE

Aortic arch

Before discharge, 1 y, 2 to 3 y

CT or MR, chest plus abdomen

Thoracic aortic stent

Before discharge, 1 mo, 2 mo, 6 mo, yearly or 30 days*

CXR, CT, chest plus abdomen

Acute IMH/PAU

Before discharge, 1 mo, 3 mo, 6 mo, yearly

CT or MR, chest plus abdomen TTE

     *U.S. Food and Drug Administration stent graft studies usually required before discharge or at 30-day CT scan to detect endovascular leaks. If there is concern about a leak, a predischarge study is recommended; however, the risk of renal injury should be borne in mind. All patients should be reciving beta blockers after surgery or medically managed aortic dissection, if tolerated. Adapted from Erbel et al. (539)

      AVR indicates aortic valve replacement; CT, computed tomographic imaging; CXR, chest X-ray; IMH, intramural hematoma; MR magnetic resonance imaging; PAU, penetrating atherosclerotic ulcer; and TTE, transthoracic echocardiography.

Abbreviations

ARVD/C

Arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia/ cardiomyopathy

CABG

Coronary artery bypass grafting surgery

CAD

Coronary artery disease

CMR

Cardiac magnetic resonance (imaging)

CT

Computed tomography

ECG

Electrocardiogram

ICD

Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator

LBBB

Left bundle-branch block

LV 

Left ventricular 

MPI

Myocardial perfusion imaging

MR 

 Mitral regurgitation 

MR(I)

Magnetic resonance (imaging)

RV

Right ventricle

SE

Stress echocardiography

TAVR

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement

TTE

Transthoracic Echo

TEE

Transesophogeal Echo

VT

Ventricular tachycardia

General Information
It is an expectation that all patients receive care/services from a licensed clinician. All appropriate supporting documentation, including recent pertinent office visit notes, laboratory data, and results of any special testing must be provided. All prior relevant imaging results, and the reason that alternative imaging cannot be performed must be included in the documentation submitted.

Policy
INDICATIONS FOR CARDIAC MAGNETIC RESONANCE (CMR)

Cardiomyopathy & Heart Failure
(Doherty, 2019; Patel, 2013; Yancy, 2013)

  • To assess systolic and diastolic function in the evaluation of a newly diagnosed cardiomyopathy
  • Suspected infiltrative disease such as amyloidosis, sarcoidosis (Birnie, 2014), hemochromatosis, or endomyocardial fibrosis if PET has not been performed
  • Suspected inherited or acquired cardiomyopathy
  • Diagnosis of acute myocarditis, with suspicion based upon new, unexplained findings such as: 
    • Rise in troponin not clearly due to acute myocardial infarction
    • Change in ECG suggesting acute myocardial injury or pericarditis, without evident myocardial infarction
  • Assessment of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (Ommen, 2020)
    • When TTE is inadequate for diagnosis, management or operative planning, or when tissue characterization (degree of fibrosis) will impact indications for ICD
    • For patients with LVH when there is a suspicion of alternative diagnoses, including infiltrative or storage disease as well as athlete’s heart
    • For patients who are not otherwise as high risk for SCD, in whom the decision to proceed with an ICD is uncertain after assessment (which includes personal/family history, echocardiography), and CMR imaging is beneficial to assess for maximum LV wall thickness, ejection fraction (EF), LV apical aneurysm, and extent of myocardial fibrosis with LGE 
    • For patients with obstructive HCM in whom the autonomic mechanism of obstruction is inconclusive on echocardiography, CMR is indicated for selection and planning of SRT (septal reduction therapy)
    • For patients with HCM, repeat imaging on a periodic basis (every 3-5 years) for the purpose of SCD risk stratification to evaluate changes in LGE, EF, development of apical aneurysm or LV wall thickness
  • Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy to aid in identification and diagnosis (assessment of myocardial fat, fibrosis, and RV tissue characteristics), based upon reason for suspicion, such as:
    • Nonsustained ventricular tachycardia (VT)
    • Unexplained syncope
    • ECG abnormalities
    • First-degree relatives with positive genotype for ARVD
  • Noncompaction cardiomyopathy to aid in the diagnosis (measurement of compacted to noncompacted myocardium) when TTE is suggestive
  • Clinical symptoms and signs consistent with a cardiac diagnosis known to cause presyncope/syncope (including but not limited to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy)
  • Pulmonary hypertension in the absence of severe valvular disease

Valvular Heart Disease

  • Evaluation of valvular stenosis, regurgitation, or valvular masses when transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) is inadequate (Doherty, 2017)
  • Pre-TAVR assessment if the patient has not undergone cardiac CT (Otto, 2017)
  • Prior to transcatheter mitral valve intervention, when TTE and TEE result in uncertain assessment of the severity of mitral regurgitation (Bonow, 2020; Wunderlich, 2018)
  • Suspected clinically significant bioprosthetic valvular dysfunction and inadequate images from TTE and TEE (Doherty, 2017)

Evaluation of Intra- and Extra-Cardiac Structures

  • Initial evaluation of cardiac mass, suspected tumor or thrombus, or potential cardiac source of emboli
  • Re-evaluation of intracardiac mass when findings would change therapy
  • Evaluation of pericardial disease to provide structural and functional assessment and differentiate constrictive vs restrictive physiology
  • Assessment of left ventricular pseudoaneurysm, when TTE was inadequate
  • Identification and characteristics of coronary aneurysms or anomalous coronary arteries

Pre-procedure Evaluation for Closure of ASD or PFO

  • For assessment of atrial septal anatomy and atrial septal aneurysm
  • For assessment of suitability for percutaneous device closure

Assessment Following LAA Occlusion

  • For surveillance at 45 days or FDA guidance, if TEE or Heart CT was not done, to assess:
    • Device stability
    • Device leaks
    • To exclude device migration

Pre-Ablation Planning

  • Evaluation of left atrium and pulmonary veins prior to radiofrequency ablation for atrial fibrillation, if cardiac CT has not been done

Aortic Pathology

  • CT, MR, or echocardiogram can be used for screening and follow-up, with CT and MR preferred for imaging beyond the proximal ascending thoracic aorta
  • Screening of first-degree relatives with a history of thoracic aortic aneurysm or dissection
  • Six-month follow-up after initial diagnosis of thoracic aortic aneurysm to measure rate of change
  • Annual follow-up for an enlarged thoracic aortic aneurysm (usually defined as > 4.4.cm)
  • Biannual (2x/year) follow-up of enlarged aortic root or showing growth rate ≥ 0.5 cm/year
  • Screening of first-degree relative with a bicuspid aortic valve
  • Re-evaluation (<1 y) of the size and morphology of the aortic sinuses and ascending aorta in patients with a bicuspid AV and an ascending aortic diameter >4 cm with 1 of the following:
    • Aortic diameter >4.5 cm
    • Rapid rate of change in aortic diameter
    • Family history (first-degree relative) of aortic dissection
  • Patients with Turner’s syndrome annually if an abnormality exists; if initial study normal, can have imaging every 5 - 10 years
  • Evaluation in patients with known or suspected connective tissue disease or genetic conditions that predispose to aortic aneurysm or dissection, such as Marfan’s, Ehler’s Danlos or Loeys- Dietz syndrome (at the time of diagnosis and 6 months thereafter), followed by annual imaging (can be done more frequently if > 4.5 cm or rate of growth > 0.5 cm/year- up to twice per year)

Congenital Heart Disease (CHD)
(Sachdeva, 2020)

  • For all indications below, either CT or CMR can be done
  • All lesions: evaluation prior to planned repair and evaluation for change in clinical status and/or new concerning signs or symptoms
  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus: routine surveillance (1 – 2 years) in a patient with postprocedural aortic obstruction
  • Eisenmenger Syndrome and Pulmonary Hypertension associated with CHD:
    • Evaluation due to change in pulmonary arterial hypertension-targeted therapy
    • Initial evaluation with suspicion of pulmonary hypertension following CHD surgery
  • Aortic Stenosis or Regurgitation:
    • Routine surveillance (6 – 12 months) in a child with aortic sinus and/or ascending aortic dilation with increasing size
    • Routine surveillance (2 – 3 years) in a child with aortic sinus and/or ascending aortic dilation with stable size (CMR only)
  • Aortic Coarctation and Interrupted Aortic Arch:
    • Routine surveillance (3 – 5 years) in a child or adult with mild aortic coarctation
    • Post procedure (surgical or catheter-based) routine surveillance (3–5 years) in an asymptomatic patient to evaluate for aortic arch aneurysms, in-stent stenosis, stent fracture, or endoleak
  • Coronary anomalies
  • Tetralogy of Fallot:
    • Postoperative routine surveillance (2 – 3 years) in a patient with pulmonary regurgitation and preserved ventricular function (CMR only)
    • Routine surveillance (2 – 3 years) in an asymptomatic patient with no or mild sequelae (CMR only)
    • Routine surveillance (2 – 3 years) in a patient with valvular or ventricular dysfunction, right ventricular outflow tract obstruction, branch pulmonary artery stenosis, arrhythmias, or presence of an RV-to-PA conduit
  • Double Outlet Right Ventricle: Routine surveillance (3 – 5 years) in an asymptomatic patient with no or mild sequelae (CMR only)
  • D-Loop Transposition of the Great Arteries (postoperative):
    • Routine surveillance (3 – 5 years) in an asymptomatic patient
    • Routine surveillance (1 – 2 years) in a patient with dilated aortic root with increasing size, or aortic regurgitation
    • Routine surveillance (3 – 12 months) in a patient with ≥moderate systemic AV valve regurgitation, systemic RV dysfunction, LVOT obstruction, or arrhythmias
  • Congenitally Corrected Transposition of the Great Arteries:
    • Unrepaired: routine surveillance (3 – 5 years) in an asymptomatic patient
    • Postoperative: routine surveillance (3 – 5 years) in an asymptomatic patient
    • Postoperative anatomic repair: routine surveillance (6 – 12 months) in a patient with valvular or ventricular dysfunction, right or left ventricular outflow tract obstruction, or presence of an RV-to-PA conduit
    • Postoperative physiological repair with VSD closure and/or LV-to-PA conduit: routine surveillance (3 – 12 months) in a patient with ≥moderate systemic AV valve regurgitation, systemic RV dysfunction, and/or LV-to-PA conduit dysfunction
  • Truncus Arteriosus: routine surveillance (1 – 2 years) in an asymptomatic child or adult with ≥ moderate truncal stenosis and/or regurgitation
  • Single-Ventricle Heart Disease:
    • Postoperative routine surveillance (3 – 5 years) in an asymptomatic patient
    • Routine surveillance (1 – 2 years) in an asymptomatic adult postoperative Stage 2 palliation (CMR only)
  • Ebstein・s Anomaly and Tricuspid Valve dysplasia (only CMR indicated): 
    • Evaluation prior to planned repair and evaluation for change in clinical status and/or new concerning signs or symptoms
  • Pulmonary Stenosis (only CMR indicated)
    • Unrepaired: routine surveillance (3 – 5 years) in an asymptomatic adult with PS and pulmonary artery dilation
    • Postprocedural (surgical or catheter-based): routine surveillance (1 – 3 years) in an asymptomatic adult with moderate or severe sequelae
  • Pulmonary Atresia (postprocedural complete repair): routine surveillance (1-3 years) in an asymptomatic adult with ≥ moderate sequelae

Coronary Artery Disease Evaluation
(CMR as an alternative to pharmacologic MPI)

  • CMR, which is done pharmacologically, is used for the assessment of coronary artery disease when a stress echocardiogram (SE) cannot be performed
    • If the patient cannot walk and would otherwise be a candidate for a pharmacologic MPI, a CMR can be performed
    • If the patient can walk and is having an MPI for another reason (LBBB, CABG, etc.), MPI is chosen over CMR
  • Assessment of LV wall motion to identify patients with akinetic segments that would benefit from coronary revascularization
  • To identify the extent and location of myocardial necrosis in patients with chronic or acute ischemic heart disease

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Coding Section

Codes

Number

Description

CPT

75557

Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging for morphology and function without contrast material;

 

75559

with stress imaging

 

75561

Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging for morphology and function without contrast material(s), followed by contrast material(s) and further sequences;

 

75563 

with stress imaging 

 

75565 

Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging for velocity flow mapping 

Procedure and diagnosis codes on Medical Policy documents are included only as a general reference tool for each policy. They may not be all-inclusive. 

This medical policy was developed through consideration of peer-reviewed medical literature generally recognized by the relevant medical community, U.S. FDA approval status, nationally accepted standards of medical practice and accepted standards of medical practice in this community, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association technology assessment program (TEC) and other non-affiliated technology evaluation centers, reference to federal regulations, other plan medical policies, and accredited national guidelines.

"Current Procedural Terminology © American Medical Association.  All Rights Reserved" 

History From 2019 Forward 

12/01/2021  Annual review, no change to policy intent. Reorganizing policy criteria for clarity. 
11/09/2020  Annual review, significant revision to policy language related to cardiomyopathy and heart failure, intra and extra cardiac structures, aortic pathology and congenital heart disease. Also updating description and references. 
12/16/2019         NEW POLICY
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