Diagnostic Tests (other)
This may not be an exhaustive list of all applicable Medicare benefit categories for this item or service.
Microvolt T-wave Alternans (MTWA) testing is a non-invasive diagnostic test that detects minute electrical activity in a portion of the electrocardiogram (ECG) known as the T-wave. MTWA testing has a role in the stratification of patients who may be at risk for sudden cardiac death (SCD) from ventricular arrhythmias.
Within patient groups that may be considered candidates for implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) therapy, a negative MTWA test may be useful in identifying low-risk patients who are unlikely to benefit from, and who may experience worse outcomes from, ICD placement.
Spectral analysis (SA) is a sensitive mathematical method of measuring and comparing time and the ECG signals. It requires specialized propriety electrodes to calculate minute T-wave voltage changes. Software then analyzes these microvolt changes and produces a report to be interpreted by a physician. The Modified Moving Average (MMA) method uses a temporal domain in which T-wave alternans are assessed as a continuous variable along the complete ECG. The MMA method of MTWA testing is performed using standard ambulatory ECG equipment.
Indications and Limitations of Coverage
B. Nationally Covered Indications
Effective for dates of service on and after March 21, 2006, MTWA diagnostic testing is covered for the evaluation of patients at risk for SCD, only when the SA method is used.
C. Nationally Non-Covered Indications
Effective for dates of service on and after January 21, 2015, Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) acting within their respective jurisdictions may determine coverage of MTWA diagnostic testing for the evaluation of patients at risk for SCD using all other methods.
(This NCD last reviewed January 2015.)
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