K70.0 - Alcoholic fatty liver

Version 2023
ICD-10:K70.0
Short Description:Alcoholic fatty liver
Long Description:Alcoholic fatty liver
Status: Valid for Submission
Version:ICD-10-CM 2023
Code Classification:
  • Diseases of the digestive system (K00–K93)
    • Diseases of liver (K70-K77)
      • Alcoholic liver disease (K70)

K70.0 is a billable ICD-10 code used to specify a medical diagnosis of alcoholic fatty liver. The code is valid during the fiscal year 2023 from October 01, 2022 through September 30, 2023 for the submission of HIPAA-covered transactions.

The code K70.0 is applicable to adult patients aged 15 through 124 years inclusive. It is clinically and virtually impossible to use this code on a patient outside the stated age range.

Approximate Synonyms

The following clinical terms are approximate synonyms or lay terms that might be used to identify the correct diagnosis code:

Clinical Information

Index to Diseases and Injuries References

The Index to Diseases and Injuries is an alphabetical listing of medical terms, with each term mapped to one or more ICD-10 code(s). The following references for this diagnosis code are found in the injuries and diseases index:

Code Edits

The Medicare Code Editor (MCE) detects and reports errors in the coding of claims data. The following ICD-10 Code Edits are applicable to this code:

Convert to ICD-9 Code

Source ICD-10 CodeTarget ICD-9 Code
K70.0571.0 - Alcoholic fatty liver

Patient Education


Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)

What is alcohol use disorder (AUD)?

For most adults, moderate alcohol use is probably not harmful. However, about 18 million adult Americans have an alcohol use disorder (AUD). This means that their drinking causes distress and harm. AUD can range from mild to severe, depending on the symptoms. Severe AUD is sometimes called alcoholism or alcohol dependence.

AUD is a disease that causes:

What is binge drinking?

Binge drinking is drinking so much at once that your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is 0.08% or more. For a man, this usually happens after having 5 or more drinks within a few hours. For a woman, it is after about 4 or more drinks within a few hours. Not everyone who binge drinks has an AUD, but they are at higher risk for getting one.

What are the dangers of too much alcohol?

Too much alcohol is dangerous. Heavy drinking can increase the risk of certain cancers. It may lead to liver diseases, such as fatty liver disease and cirrhosis. It can also cause damage to the brain and other organs. Drinking during pregnancy can harm your baby. Alcohol also increases the risk of death from car crashes, injuries, homicide, and suicide.

How do I know if I have an alcohol use disorder (AUD)?

You may have an AUD if you can answer yes to two or more of these questions:

In the past year, have you:

If you have any of these symptoms, your drinking may already be a cause for concern. The more symptoms you have, the more serious the problem is.

What should I do if I think that I might have an alcohol use disorder (AUD)?

If you think you might have an AUD, see your health care provider for an evaluation. Your provider can help make a treatment plan, prescribe medicines, and if needed, give you treatment referrals.

NIH: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism


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Fatty Liver Disease

What is fatty liver disease?

Your liver is the largest organ inside your body. It helps your body digest food, store energy, and remove poisons. Fatty liver disease is a condition in which fat builds up in your liver. There are two main types:

What is nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)?

NAFLD is a type of fatty liver disease that is not related to heavy alcohol use. There are two kinds:

What is alcoholic fatty liver disease?

Alcoholic fatty liver disease is due to heavy alcohol use. Your liver breaks down most of the alcohol you drink, so it can be removed from your body. But the process of breaking it down can generate harmful substances. These substances can damage liver cells, promote inflammation, and weaken your body's natural defenses. The more alcohol that you drink, the more you damage your liver. Alcoholic fatty liver disease is the earliest stage of alcohol-related liver disease. The next stages are alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis.

Who is at risk for fatty liver disease?

The cause of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is unknown. Researchers do know that it is more common in people who:

NAFLD affects about 25% of people in the world. As the rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol are rising in the United States, so is the rate of NAFLD. NAFLD is the most common chronic liver disorder in the United States.

Alcoholic fatty liver disease only happens in people who are heavy drinkers, especially those who have been drinking for a long period of time. The risk is higher for heavy drinkers who are women, have obesity, or have certain genetic mutations.

What are the symptoms of fatty liver disease?

Both NAFLD and alcoholic fatty liver disease are usually silent diseases with few or no symptoms. If you do have symptoms, you may feel tired or have discomfort in the upper right side of your abdomen.

How is fatty liver disease diagnosed?

Because there are often no symptoms, it is not easy to find fatty liver disease. Your doctor may suspect that you have it if you get abnormal results on liver tests that you had for other reasons. To make a diagnosis, your doctor will use:

As part of the medical history, your doctor will ask about your alcohol use, to find out whether fat in your liver is a sign of alcoholic fatty liver disease or nonalcoholic fatty liver (NAFLD). He or she will also ask which medicines you take, to try to determine whether a medicine is causing your NAFLD.

During the physical exam, your doctor will examine your body and check your weight and height. Your doctor will look for signs of fatty liver disease, such as:

You will likely have blood tests, including liver function tests and blood count tests. In some cases you may also have imaging tests, like those that check for fat in the liver and the stiffness of your liver. Liver stiffness can mean fibrosis, which is scarring of the liver. In some cases you may also need a liver biopsy to confirm the diagnosis, and to check how bad the liver damage is.

What are the treatments for fatty liver disease?

Doctors recommend weight loss for nonalcoholic fatty liver. Weight loss can reduce fat in the liver, inflammation, and fibrosis. If your doctor thinks that a certain medicine is the cause of your NAFLD, you should stop taking that medicine. But check with your doctor before stopping the medicine. You may need to get off the medicine gradually, and you might need to switch to another medicine instead.

There are no medicines that have been approved to treat NAFLD. Studies are investigating whether a certain diabetes medicine or Vitamin E can help, but more studies are needed.

The most important part of treating alcohol-related fatty liver disease is to stop drinking alcohol. If you need help doing that, you may want to see a therapist or participate in an alcohol recovery program. There are also medicines that can help, either by reducing your cravings or making you feel sick if you drink alcohol.

Both alcoholic fatty liver disease and one type of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis) can lead to cirrhosis. Doctors can treat the health problems caused by cirrhosis with medicines, operations, and other medical procedures. If the cirrhosis leads to liver failure, you may need a liver transplant.

What are some lifestyle changes that can help with fatty liver disease?

If you have any of the types of fatty liver disease, there are some lifestyle changes that can help:


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Code History