Atrial Fibrillation (AFIB) ICD 10

The code for types of atrial fibrillation (afib) and flutter in the ICD-10 is I48. It is located within the section known as “other forms of heart disease” which includes codes I30-I52.

Definition: What is an ICD code?

ICD: International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems

The International Classification of Diseases is a coding system used by healthcare workers to code diagnosis, symptoms and procedures. This systems is used in hospitals in the United States.

This coding system is revised and updated regularly and has most recently (June of 2018) released it’s 11th revision edition, known as the ICD 11.

The number following the acronym ICD refers to which revision it belongs to. So, in the case of ICD-10, we know that this code was established in the 10th revision. The 10th revision was published in 2016.

ICD-10 Codes for Diseases and Related Health Problems for Atrial Fibrillation:

ICD-11 Codes for Mortality and Morbidity Statistics (MMS) for Atrial Fibrillation:


ICD-10 Billing Codes for Atrial Fibrillation

IDC-10-CM codes for atrial fibrillation are billable codes.

Review: Anatomy & Physiology of the Heart

The heart is a muscle that pumps oxygenated blood throughout the body. It is divided into four chambers. The two chambers on the top are called the left and right atria and the two on the bottom are called the left and right ventricles.

Each time the heart beats a complex series of events happens.

  • The right atrium receives deoxygenated blood, once the atrium is full the blood flows down into the right ventricle.
  • The right ventricle fills and expels this blood out to the lungs where it is oxygenated.
  • From the lungs it returns to the heart entering the left atrium, once the atrium is full of this oxygenated blood, it flows down into the left ventricle.
  • The left ventricle fills and expels this oxygenated blood out to the whole body through the aorta.

What we normally refer to as one heart beat, can actually be divided into two beats. (Think “lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-dub”). The first is usually a little softer and the second is has more emphasis.

During this first beat, or the ‘lub’ beat, the atria and ventricles are relaxed and are filling with blood.

The second part, or the ‘dub’ beat, is the contraction of the atria and ventricles contract (blood is pushed into ventricles from atria and pushed out of heart by ventricles).

Definition: What is Atrial Fibrillation & Flutter?

Atrial fibrillation is an abnormal heart rhythm. In atrial fibrillation, the atria do not contract normally. Instead they ‘quiver’ and blood is not pushed down into the ventricles as it should be. In atrial fibrillation, the beat is irregular.

The biggest risk factor with atrial fibrillation is that the blood, while trapped in the atria will coagulate, or form a clot. This clot then can be pushed through the heart and become lodged in an artery in the brain causing a stroke.

Atrial fibrillation is also referred to as “A-Fib” or “AF.”

The beats of an atrial flutter are coordinated and the beats of an atrial fibrillation are uncoordinated. So the flutter is fast and regular (maybe 250-350 beats per minute). While in atrial fibrillation the atria quiver irregularly.

Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation

Paroxysmal refers to the frequency with which one experiences atrial fibrillation. Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation usually lasts hours or days.

Persistent Atrial Fibrillation

Persistent Atrial Fibrillation refers to the permanent state of atrial fibrillation.

Chronic Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial Fibrillation may be referred to as acute or chronic. Chronic means that it lasts a long time, or lifetime.

Typical Atrial Flutter (Type I Atrial Flutter)

An atrial flutter is an abnormal heart rhythm where the heart beats regularly but at a much faster beat than normal. In this condition they actually beat faster and the ventricles beat at their normal rate, so the atria can beat at a rate of 4:1 with the ventricles. Typical atrial flutter refers to the counter-clockwise pattern of electrical impulses of the heart beat pattern.

Atypical Atrial Flutter (Type II Atrial Flutter)

Atypical atrial flutter, while similar in heartbeat abnormality to Type 1 Atrial Flutter, refers to the clockwise pattern of electrical impulses of the heart beat pattern.

Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation

Some people do not experience symptoms with atrial fibrillation. However when people do experience symptoms, they may include some or all of the following:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Feelings of heart palpitations
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fatigue, Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty with exercise

If you experience any of these symptoms and think you might be experiencing atrial fibrillation speak to your doctor right away.

Treatment for Atrial Fibrillation

The treatment for atrial fibrillation will depend largely on you, your lifestyle and the severity or type of atrial fibrillation you are experiencing. Generally, a treatment will try to regulate and control the abnormal heart beat pattern as well as work to prevent blood clots and stroke–the biggest risk factors for persons with atrial fibrillation.

Heartbeat patterns can be regulated with medications and/or electrocardioversion (an electrical shock of the heart).

There are also procedures and surgeries that can be done to regulate abnormal heartbeat patterns. The following may be options of surgical procedures to treat atrial fibrillation:

  • Catheter Ablation
  • Surgical Maze Procedure
  • Atrioventricular Node Ablation

Blood clots and stroke may be prevented by medications and/or a surgical procedure.

Your healthcare provider or cardiologist may have you take a blood thinning medication to prevent the formation of a blood clot. Preventing the formation of blood clots lowers the risk of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation.

A procedure called a Left Atrial Appendage Closure may be indicated to prevent blood clot formation, and also prevent stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation.

Stress, Anxiety and the Heart

Mental health can play a big role in your heart health. Keep stress and anxiety levels low and treat depression to reduce stress on your heart. This is especially important for people with heart diseases or disorders, such as atrial fibrillation, as stress, anxiety and depression can cause symptoms of these conditions to worsen.

Tips to lower stress

  • Practice deep breathing regularly
  • Meditation or yoga
  • Positive attitude
  • Listen to calming music
  • Practice relaxation techniques
  • Take walks daily
  • Have a support system to share with

Kelly Frey Martin
Kelly Frey Martin

Kelly is a labor and delivery nurse from Goshen, Indiana. She is now using her talents in Colombia, South America where she and her husband work with youth to develop life and leadership skills.