ICD-10-CM Code Q21

Congenital malformations of cardiac septa

Version 2020 Non-Billable Code

Not Valid for Submission

Q21 is a "header" nonspecific and non-billable code code, consider using a code with a higher level of specificity for a diagnosis of congenital malformations of cardiac septa. The code is NOT valid for the year 2020 for the submission of HIPAA-covered transactions.

ICD-10:Q21
Short Description:Congenital malformations of cardiac septa
Long Description:Congenital malformations of cardiac septa

Consider the following ICD-10 codes with a higher level of specificity:

  • Q21.0 - Ventricular septal defect
  • Q21.1 - Atrial septal defect
  • Q21.2 - Atrioventricular septal defect
  • Q21.3 - Tetralogy of Fallot
  • Q21.4 - Aortopulmonary septal defect
  • Q21.8 - Other congenital malformations of cardiac septa
  • Q21.9 - Congenital malformation of cardiac septum, unspecified

Tabular List of Diseases and Injuries

The Tabular List of Diseases and Injuries is a list of ICD-10 codes, organized "head to toe" into chapters and sections with guidance for inclusions, exclusions, descriptions and more. The following references are applicable to the code Q21:

Type 1 Excludes

Type 1 Excludes
A type 1 excludes note is a pure excludes note. It means "NOT CODED HERE!" An Excludes1 note indicates that the code excluded should never be used at the same time as the code above the Excludes1 note. An Excludes1 is used when two conditions cannot occur together, such as a congenital form versus an acquired form of the same condition.
  • acquired cardiac septal defect I51.0

Code Classification

  • Congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities (Q00-Q99)
    • Congenital malformations of the circulatory system (Q20-Q28)
      • Congenital malformations of cardiac septa (Q21)

Code History

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

Information for Patients


Congenital Heart Defects

A congenital heart defect is a problem with the structure of the heart. It is present at birth. Congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect. The defects can involve the walls of the heart, the valves of the heart, and the arteries and veins near the heart. They can disrupt the normal flow of blood through the heart. The blood flow can slow down, go in the wrong direction or to the wrong place, or be blocked completely.

Doctors use a physical exam and special heart tests to diagnose congenital heart defects. They often find severe defects during pregnancy or soon after birth. Signs and symptoms of severe defects in newborns include

  • Rapid breathing
  • Cyanosis - a bluish tint to the skin, lips, and fingernails
  • Fatigue
  • Poor blood circulation

Many congenital heart defects cause few or no signs and symptoms. They are often not diagnosed until children are older.

Many children with congenital heart defects don't need treatment, but others do. Treatment can include medicines, catheter procedures, surgery, and heart transplants. The treatment depends on the type of the defect, how severe it is, and a child's age, size, and general health.

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute


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