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Radiology Treatment for Migraine in ChildrenMigraine is a highly prevalent neurological disease and is a public health issue with serious social and economic consequences. According to the Migraine Research Foundation, migraine is the third most prevalent illness in the world and 12% of the population including children suffer from this.

Often this condition goes undiagnosed in children. About 10% of school-age children suffer from migraine. This recurrent headache may last in children from 30 minutes to 48 hours. Appropriate diagnosis and treatment of migraines can greatly improve the quality of life for a person who suffers from migraine headaches.

A recent research study presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology’s 2017 Annual Scientific Meeting in Washington, DC suggests that an interventional radiology treatment method, called sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) blockade, is effective and safe for treating migraines in children and teenagers.The treatment involves administering an anesthetic to a small cluster of nerves that are believed to be linked to migraines. It was found that after providing the treatment in children, the average pain score dropped by more than two points on the 10-point scale.

Specialists who assist with diagnosis may be a headache or migraine specialist, a neurologist, a pediatrician, or even a pain management specialist. When it comes to pain management medical billing, some providers don’t separately bill for the topical approach.

For billing the topical approach, it is recommended to report the treatment using

  • CPT code 64999 (Unlisted procedure, nervous system)

Injection of the Sphenopalatine Ganglion can be documented with CPT codes

  • CPT 64505 (Injection, anesthetic agent; sphenopalatine ganglion) or
  • CPT 64400 (Injection, anesthetic agent; trigeminal nerve or branch)

The lead author of the research says, “While it is not a cure for migraines, this treatment has the potential to really improve the quality of life for many children. It can be performed easily, without complications, and gives quick pain relief, which is important to parents who want to see their children happy, healthy, and pain-free again.”