High-intensity focused ultrasound for atrial fibrillation in association with other cardiac surgery

NICE interventional procedures guidance [IPG184] Published date:

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The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on High intensity focused ultrasound ablation of atrial tissue for atrial fibrillation as an associated procedure with other cardiac surgery in July 2006. In accordance with the Interventional Procedures Programme process guide, guidance on procedures with special arrangements are reviewed 3 years after publication and the procedure is reassessed if important new evidence is available.

The guidance was considered for reassessment in October 2009 and it was concluded that NICE will not be updating this guidance at this stage. However, if you believe there is new evidence which should warrant a review of our guidance, please contact us via the email address below.

  • Description

    Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the irregular and rapid beating of the upper two chambers of the heart (the atria). This is caused by a disruption in the electrical impulses that control the heartbeat. Symptoms, if present, can include palpitations, dizziness, breathlessness and fatigue. This procedure uses an ultrasound device to send a focused beam of ultrasound energy to burn and destroy a targeted area of the heart in order to disrupt the abnormal electrical impulses.

  • OPCS4.6 Code(s)

    One of the following codes would be assigned:


    K52.1 Open ablation of atrioventricular node

    K52.8 Other specified open operations on conducting system of heart


    The following code would be assigned in addition to one of the above codes:


    Y11.5 Ultrasonic destruction of  organ NOC


    If code K52.8 is chosen, the site code Z33.6 Atrium of heart is assigned following Y11.5.


    Note: Codes are for patients undergoing concomitant open-heart surgery.


    In addition ICD-10 code I48.X Atrial fibrillation and flutter would be recorded.

    The NHS Classifications Service of NHS Connecting for Health is the central definitive source for clinical coding guidance and determines the coding standards associated with the classifications (OPCS-4 and ICD-10) to be used across the NHS.   The NHS Classifications Service and NICE work collaboratively to ensure the most appropriate classification codes are provided.  www.connectingforhealth.co.uk/clinicalcoding

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