The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on intraoperative flourescence angiography in coronary artery bypass grafting.


Coronary artery bypass grafting is one of the most common cardiac surgical interventions. In this procedure a section of vessel from another part of the body is used to reroute (bypass) blood around a blocked coronary artery and improve blood flow to the heart. Early blockage of the graft caused by narrowing and poor blood flow may be a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in patients who have undergone coronary artery bypass grafting.

Several techniques are used intraoperatively to assess graft patency. These include digital palpation, electromagnetic flow measurement, Doppler studies, and conventional and thermal coronary angiography techniques. A limitation with many of the imaging techniques is that they provide poor resolution and definition of the grafts.

Intraoperative fluorescence angiography allows confirmation of the location of the coronary arteries and assessment of bypass graft function during coronary artery bypass procedures. The intraoperative fluorescence imaging system consists of a video camera and a laser diode that emits monochromatic light. The camera, guided by a range-detector diode, is positioned a safe distance above the heart. A small amount of indocyanine green (ICG) dye is then administered as a central venous injection. This dye fluoresces when illuminated using laser energy and the images are recorded digitally.

Coding and clinical classification codes for this guidance.

Your responsibility

This guidance represents the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, healthcare professionals are expected to take this guidance fully into account, and specifically any special arrangements relating to the introduction of new interventional procedures. The guidance does not override the individual responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or guardian or carer. 

All problems (adverse events) related to a medicine or medical device used for treatment or in a procedure should be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency using the Yellow Card Scheme.

Commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to implement the guidance, in their local context, in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations. Nothing in this guidance should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties. Providers should ensure that governance structures are in place to review, authorise and monitor the introduction of new devices and procedures.

Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.