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Modifying Terms

Modifying terms are indented terms listed under the main term that further modify the term they follow. 

Main Terms

The CPT index is organized into a division of main terms, which can either stand alone or be followed by up to three modifying terms. Main terms are classified by the four main types:

  • Procedure or Service

  • Organ (or Anatomic Site) 

  • Condition

  • Synonym, Eponyms, & Abbreviations 

NOTE: Anesthesia Main Entry codes are not double-entered under anatomical sites.  (Some anesthesia codes from other sections are listed under anatomical site.) 


Code ranges are listed when more than one code applies and are separated in the following ways: 

Separated by Comma (,)

More than one nonsequential 

More than one code range

Separated by Hyphen (-)

Three or more sequential codes  

Pathology &Laboratory 

In the index, the pathology and lab listing is presented by the headings, subheadings, procedures, and analytes of the Pathology and Laboratory section in the manual. 

These are found within Appendix A of the CPT manual. 


Some space-saving or clarifying conventions, involve words such as "of" or "application of"placed in brackets (usually when the procedure or service is listed as a subterm.)  

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