1.1 Current evidence on the safety and efficacy of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) for atrial fibrillation in association with other cardiac surgery is insufficient for this procedure to be used without special arrangements for consent and for audit or research.
1.2 Clinicians wishing to undertake HIFU for atrial fibrillation in association with other cardiac surgery should take the following actions.
Inform the clinical governance leads in their Trusts.
Ensure that patients understand the uncertainty about the procedure's safety and efficacy and provide them with clear written information. In addition, use of the Institute's information for patients is recommended.
Audit and review clinical outcomes of all patients undergoing HIFU for atrial fibrillation in association with other cardiac surgery.
1.3 Patient selection and follow-up should be carried out by a multidisciplinary team. Cardiac surgeons undertaking this procedure should have specific training in the use of high-intensity focused ultrasound equipment.
1.4 Publication of safety and efficacy outcomes will be useful. The Institute may review the procedure upon publication of further evidence.