National Coverage Determination (NCD)

Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT)


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Tracking Information

Publication Number
Manual Section Number
Manual Section Title
Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT)
Version Number
Effective Date of this Version
Implementation Date

Description Information

Benefit Category
Diagnostic Tests (other)

Please Note: This may not be an exhaustive list of all applicable Medicare benefit categories for this item or service.

Item/Service Description

The single photon emission computed tomograph (SPECT) acquires information on the concentration of radionuclides introduced into the patient's body. It is useful in the diagnosis of several clinical conditions including:

  • stress fracture.
  • spondylosis.
  • infection (e.g., discitis).
  • tumor (e.g., osteoid osteoma).
  • analyze blood flow to an organ, as in the case of myocardial viability.
  • differentiate ischemic heart disease from dilated cardiomyopathy.
Indications and Limitations of Coverage

Frequency limitations: Medicare Administrative Contractor discretion.

In the case of myocardial viability, FDG positron emission tomography (PET) may be used following a SPECT that was found to be inconclusive. However, SPECT may not be used following an inconclusive FDG PET performed to evaluate myocardial viability.

Cross Reference
See NCD on Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scans.

Transmittal Information

Transmittal Number
Revision History

05/2002 - Added NCD as part of determination regarding myocardial viability. Effective and implementation dates 07/01/2002. (TN 156) (CR 2138)

National Coverage Analyses (NCAs)

This NCD has been or is currently being reviewed under the National Coverage Determination process. The following are existing associations with NCAs, from the National Coverage Analyses database.

Additional Information

Other Versions
Title Version Effective Between
Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) 1 10/01/2002 - N/A You are here