Principles of classification of bronchial asthma according to ICD-10, codes of forms of the disease

When making a diagnosis, the doctor should use the classification of bronchial asthma according to the ICD-10 normative document. 

This is a mandatory requirement for filling out medical records. A single code is needed to maintain statistics and facilitate communication between doctors not only from different medical institutions, but also from different countries.

The need to classify bronchial asthma

Chronic incurable disease bronchial asthma is characterized by asthma attacks arising from inflammatory processes in the bronchi. They are mainly allergic, less often non-allergic in nature.

There is no uniform classification of pathology accepted throughout the world. If we consider the classification of A.D. Ado and P.K.Bulatov (1968, USSR), then only two forms of the disease are distinguished in it: atopic and infectious-allergic.

In Europe and the United States, the classification is based on whether the seizure is triggered by external or internal factors.

However, modern medicine has found that the range of causes that contribute to the development of the disease is much wider. The disease can begin, for example, due to a malfunction of the endocrine system or nervous strain.

It is these all factors and types of asthma that are taken into account in the ICD-10, during classification they are assigned the corresponding codes.  

The classification is used in collecting statistical information about diseases, and also allows doctors from different countries to understand each other.

A doctor in any country can accurately find out the diagnosis, find information about the disease in foreign sources and choose the right treatment, taking into account the experience of specialists from all over the world.

What is ICD-10

At the end of the twentieth century, the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) began to be used to systematize all diseases. With its help, doctors can, based on the disease code, predict the course of the disease and prescribe treatment.

At the same time, an error due to incorrect wording of the diagnosis or its inaccurate translation is excluded.

This system was proposed by the French scientist and physician J. Bertillon. All pathologies, as well as bronchial asthma, have their own code in the ICD.

In this pathology, it is J45. The 10th version of this document is currently in use. Hence the name ICD-10.

According to the international classification, bronchial asthma is an inflammatory disease of the bronchi, the main symptom of which is choking.

Information about bronchial asthma from ICD-10

It is important to know what place bronchial asthma occupies in the classifier; ICD-10 assigns it the J45 code. Several types of manifestations of the disease are encrypted under it.

AD not only manifests itself in different ways in different people, but also the root causes of its appearance are different.

However, according to the definition given in the comments to the ICD-10 bronchial asthma code, the disease is characterized by a state of airway obstruction. Moreover, it must be reversible. 

AD is most often manifested by such a symptom as choking. In addition, dry cough, chest tightness and shortness of breath are possible.

Classification of bronchial asthma according to ICD-10

Bronchial asthma, the code of which according to ICD-10 is J45, has several varieties.

That is why, to distinguish them, additional designations are distinguished, which make it possible to more accurately describe the type, cause and stage of pathology.

Predominantly allergic asthma (j45.0)

Bronchial asthma, the root cause of which is an allergic reaction of the body, is classified according to ICD-10 as predominantly allergic. It is a disease that is most commonly diagnosed in childhood.

Allergic (also called atopic) bronchial asthma has a code according to ICD-10 J45.0. To make a diagnosis, it is necessary to determine what is an allergen for the patient and provokes a state of suffocation. Moreover, there may be several such factors.

Most often, seizures are caused by:

  1. Infectious allergens. These are various microorganisms that enter the human body from the outside and cause an inflammatory process.
  2. Non-infectious allergens. These include various provocateurs, such as pollen, dust, paint, essential oils, and more. Due to the incorrect functioning of the immune system, pathology develops.
  3. Parasites. Rarely cause AD. After full treatment, when there are no parasites left, asthma attacks stop.

Previously, allergic asthma was assigned different codes, depending on which allergen is causing the pathology. But this only confused and complicated the diagnosis. And only ICD-10 was given a single code, regardless of the type of provocateur.

Non-allergic asthma (j45.1)

In accordance with ICD-10, the J45.1 code designates a non-allergic form of bronchial asthma.

This form of pathology is divided into 2 types:

  1. Idiosyncratic. In this case, the disease is not associated with disorders in the functioning of the immune system. The first manifestations are often mistaken for a cold and appropriate treatment is prescribed. But over time, when attacks become more frequent, and shortness of breath begins to appear, the diagnosis becomes obvious. The disease proceeds with alternation of exacerbations and remissions, which can last for several months.
  2. Endogenous. Attacks are associated with changes in climatic conditions (temperature, humidity), the presence of irritants in the air (strong odors) and other external factors.

Mixed asthma (j45.8)

This form of bronchial asthma has a code according to ICD-10 J45.8. A fairly common type of pathology.

The term “mixed form” means that asthma attacks can cause both the factors listed in the description of bronchial asthma according to ICD-10 J45.0 (that is, the cause of attacks is the ingress of an allergen into the human body), and irritants of an endogenous nature.

Unspecified disease (j45.9)

If it is not possible to establish the cause, then the disease is assigned the code J45.9, indicating unspecified bronchial asthma according to ICD-10. Very often this type is diagnosed in people of age who have ignored their symptoms for a long time and have not consulted a doctor.

In this case, the diagnosis sounds like: “late onset”. If the cause of the seizures cannot be established in the child, the doctor diagnoses asthmatic bronchitis, in accordance with ICD-10. 

Despite the fact that asthma has been studied for a long time, and many possible varieties have been described, an unspecified type of the disease still occurs. In this case, it is impossible to determine the exact cause of the attacks.

Status asthmaticus (j46)

You should also highlight a serious complication of asthma, which received the code according to ICD-10 J46 – asthmatic status. This is a prolonged attack of bronchial asthma that cannot be stopped by usual medications, which is accompanied by intense secretion of thick sputum and the development of bronchiole edema. 

This condition is included in the ICD in a separate section, since it is not an independent pathology and is read as an acute form of severe asthma.


All diseases have their own ICD-10 code, and bronchial asthma is no exception. According to the classifier, several different forms are distinguished. Moreover, this division depends mainly on the root cause of the disease.

Thanks to the international classifier of diseases, doctors can exchange experience and prescribe the most effective treatment, taking into account the achievements of specialists from different countries.

event_note August 7, 2020

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