CPT code 72148, cpt 72148, 72148 cpt code

CPT Code 72148 | MRI Lumbar Spinal Canal Without Contrast Material

CPT 72148 can be used for a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedure of the lumbar spinal canal and contents if the procedure was performed without contrast material.

What Is CPT Code 72148?

CPT code 72148 describes a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedure of the lumbar spinal canal and contents without using contrast material.

The lumbar region of the spine is the lower back and includes the five vertebrae numbered L1 to L5.

The spinal canal is the space within the vertebral column that contains the spinal cord and its associated nerves.

The contents of the spinal canal include the spinal cord, nerve roots, and the surrounding tissues, such as the ligaments and disks.

MRI is a diagnostic imaging technique that uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the body’s internal structures.

Unlike X-rays and CT scans, MRI does not use ionizing radiation, making it a safer choice for some patients.


The CPT book describes CPT code 72148 as: “Magnetic resonance (e.g., proton) imaging, spinal canal, and contents, lumbar; without contrast material.”


The diagnostic procedure in question involves using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to examine the lumbar spinal canal and its contents without using contrast agents. This non-invasive procedure is conducted by a trained healthcare provider who guides the patient through the process from start to finish.

The process begins with the patient being placed on a scanning table, then slides the whole body into a large, tunnel-shaped magnetic scanner.

This scanner uses a strong magnetic field to capture detailed lumbar spine images. As the patient’s body is positioned inside the scanner, the provider instructs them to hold their breath and remain still, as any movement can affect the quality of the captured images.

Once the patient is properly positioned, the provider begins capturing the radiofrequency signals generated by the body.

These signals are then processed by a computer, which generates a series of detailed images that display slices of the lumbar spine. The provider then carefully reviews these images, analyzes them thoroughly, and interprets the results.

After the examination, the provider prepares a written report of their findings. This report is then shared with the patient and any other healthcare providers involved in their care, such as primary care physicians or specialists.

This report is essential because it includes information that will help diagnose and treat any conditions or abnormalities found in the lumbar spine.

Overall, the MRI of the lumbar spinal canal and contents is a safe and effective diagnostic procedure that provides invaluable information for diagnosing and treating conditions affecting the lower back.

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