2021 ICD-10-CM Code K70.0

Alcoholic fatty liver

Version 2021

Valid for Submission

K70.0 is a billable diagnosis code used to specify a medical diagnosis of alcoholic fatty liver. The code K70.0 is valid during the fiscal year 2021 from October 01, 2020 through September 30, 2021 for the submission of HIPAA-covered transactions.

The ICD-10-CM code K70.0 might also be used to specify conditions or terms like alcoholic fatty liver, alcoholic liver damage, alcoholic liver damage, steatosis of liver or zieve's syndrome.

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.

ICD-10:K70.0
Short Description:Alcoholic fatty liver
Long Description:Alcoholic fatty liver

Code Classification

Index to Diseases and Injuries

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 the code K70.0 are found in the 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:

Approximate Synonyms

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

Clinical Information

Convert K70.0 to ICD-9 Code

Information for Patients


Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse

Also called: Alcohol dependence

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. It includes alcoholism and alcohol abuse.

Alcoholism, or alcohol dependence, is a disease that causes

With alcohol abuse, you are not physically dependent, but you still have a serious problem. The drinking may cause problems at home, work, or school. It may cause you to put yourself in dangerous situations, or lead to legal or social problems.

Another common problem is binge drinking. It is drinking about five or more drinks in two hours for men. For women, it is about four or more drinks in two hours.

Too much alcohol is dangerous. Heavy drinking can increase the risk of certain cancers. It can cause damage to the liver, 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.

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. 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

Also called: Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, Alcoholic Steatohepatitis, NAFLD, NASH, Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis

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?

Researchers do not know the cause of nonalcoholic fatty liver (NAFLD). They do know that it is more common in people who

NAFLD affects about 25 percent 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

  • FY 2021 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2020 through 9/30/2021
  • FY 2020 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2019 through 9/30/2020
  • FY 2019 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2018 through 9/30/2019
  • FY 2018 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2017 through 9/30/2018
  • FY 2017 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2016 through 9/30/2017
  • FY 2016 - New Code, effective from 10/1/2015 through 9/30/2016 (First year ICD-10-CM implemented into the HIPAA code set)