ICD-10-CM Code R09.3

Abnormal sputum

Version 2020 Billable Code No Valid Principal Dx

Valid for Submission

R09.3 is a billable code used to specify a medical diagnosis of abnormal sputum. The code is valid for the year 2020 for the submission of HIPAA-covered transactions. The ICD-10-CM code R09.3 might also be used to specify conditions or terms like abnormal sputum, brown sputum, color of sputum - finding, color of sputum - finding, color of sputum - finding, color of sputum - finding, etc

According to ICD-10-CM guidelines this code should not to be used as a principal diagnosis code when a related definitive diagnosis has been established.

Short Description:Abnormal sputum
Long Description:Abnormal sputum

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 R09.3:

Inclusion Terms

Inclusion Terms
These terms are the conditions for which that code is to be used. The terms may be synonyms of the code title, or, in the case of "other specified" codes, the terms are a list of the various conditions assigned to that code. The inclusion terms are not necessarily exhaustive. Additional terms found only in the Alphabetic Index may also be assigned to a code.
  • Abnormal amount of sputum
  • Abnormal color of sputum
  • Abnormal odor of sputum
  • Excessive sputum

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.
  • blood-stained sputum R04.2

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 R09.3 are found in the index:


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

  • Abnormal sputum
  • Brown sputum
  • Color of sputum - finding
  • Color of sputum - finding
  • Color of sputum - finding
  • Color of sputum - finding
  • Color of sputum - finding
  • Color of sputum - finding
  • Color of sputum - finding
  • Color of sputum - finding
  • Copious sputum
  • Creamy sputum
  • Dirty sputum
  • Expectoration of currant jelly sputum
  • Finding of odor of sputum
  • Finding related to ability to cough up sputum
  • Foul smelling sputum
  • Frothy sputum
  • Green sputum
  • Grey sputum
  • Mucoid sputum
  • Mucoid sputum - O/E
  • Mucopurulent sputum
  • Nasal discharge
  • O/E - sputum
  • O/E - sputum
  • Pluggy sputum
  • Productive cough
  • Productive cough
  • Productive cough -green sputum
  • Productive cough-yellow sputum
  • Profuse watery sputum
  • Purulent nasal discharge
  • Purulent sputum
  • Pus in sputum O/E
  • Rusty sputum
  • Scanty sputum
  • Sputum abnormal - amount
  • Sputum abnormal - color
  • Sputum abnormal - odor
  • Sputum examination: abnormal
  • Sputum retention
  • Sputum: asbestos bodies
  • Sputum: blood cells present
  • Sputum: excessive - mucoid
  • Sputum: pus cells present
  • Stringy sputum
  • Sweet smelling sputum
  • Thick sputum
  • Thin sputum
  • Volume of sputum - finding
  • Volume of sputum - finding
  • Volume of sputum - finding
  • Volume of sputum - finding
  • Watery sputum
  • White sputum
  • Yellow sputum

Convert R09.3 to ICD-9

Code Classification

  • Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified (R00–R99)
    • Symptoms and signs involving the circulatory and respiratory systems (R00-R09)
      • Oth symptoms and signs involving the circ and resp sys (R09)

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

Bronchial Disorders

When you breathe in, the air travels down through your trachea (windpipe). It then goes through two tubes to your lungs. These tubes are your bronchi. Bronchial disorders can make it hard for you to breathe.

The most common problem with the bronchi is bronchitis, an inflammation of the tubes. It can be acute or chronic. Other problems include

  • Bronchiectasis - a condition in which damage to the airways causes them to widen and become flabby and scarred
  • Exercise-induced bronchospasm - a breathing problem that happens when your airways shrink while you are exercising
  • Bronchiolitis - an inflammation of the small airways that branch off from the bronchi
  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia - a chronic lung condition in infants, most often premature infants

[Learn More]


Coughing is a reflex that keeps your throat and airways clear. Although it can be annoying, coughing helps your body heal or protect itself. Coughs can be either acute or chronic. Acute coughs begin suddenly and usually last no more than 2 to 3 weeks. Acute coughs are the kind you most often get with a cold, flu, or acute bronchitis. Chronic coughs last longer than 2 to 3 weeks. Causes of chronic cough include

  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
  • Smoking
  • Throat disorders, such as croup in young children
  • Some medicines

Water can help ease your cough - whether you drink it or add it to the air with a steamy shower or vaporizer. If you have a cold or the flu, antihistamines may work better than non-prescription cough medicines. Children under four should not have cough medicine. For children over four, use caution and read labels carefully.

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Lung Diseases

When you breathe, your lungs take in oxygen from the air and deliver it to the bloodstream. The cells in your body need oxygen to work and grow. During a normal day, you breathe nearly 25,000 times. People with lung disease have difficulty breathing. Millions of people in the U.S. have lung disease. If all types of lung disease are lumped together, it is the number three killer in the United States.

The term lung disease refers to many disorders affecting the lungs, such as asthma, COPD, infections like influenza, pneumonia and tuberculosis, lung cancer, and many other breathing problems. Some lung diseases can lead to respiratory failure.

Dept. of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health

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