The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on percutaneous (non-thoracoscopic) epicardial catheter radiofrequency ablation for ventricular tachycardia.


Ventricular tachycardia is a condition that affects the heart, causing an irregular pulse. It occurs when the electrical impulses controlling the heartbeat become disorganised, so that the heart beats too fast. When this happens, the heart cannot efficiently pump blood around the body. This may cause symptoms such as palpitations, chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, dizziness and fainting. Ventricular tachycardia increases the risk of cardiac arrest (when the heart stops beating). In percutaneous (non-thoracoscopic) epicardial catheter radiofrequency ablation selected areas of the heart are destroyed using heat, with the aim of preventing the occurrence or conduction of abnormal electrical activity. The procedure is done through a special catheter which is inserted into the lower chest area and guided to the outside of the heart.

Coding recommendations

K64.1 Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation of epicardium

Y53.4 Approach to organ under fluoroscopic control

In addition the ICD-10 code I47.2 Ventricular tachycardia would be recorded.

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