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Title:
DEVICE FOR AN ELECTROPHYSIOLOGY PROCEDURE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/136168
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An electrophysiological cardiac catheter device comprising a plurality of electrodes which are connected via a selector switch over a resistor to a neutral electrode. Voltage and/or current at one of the electrodes may be measured for cardiac mapping.

Inventors:
IONESCU BOGDAN (DE)
Application Number:
PCT/EP2019/086922
Publication Date:
July 02, 2020
Filing Date:
December 23, 2019
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
IONESCU BOGDAN (DE)
International Classes:
A61B18/14; A61B5/00; A61B5/308; A61M25/00; A61N1/05; A61N1/38
Domestic Patent References:
WO2003089997A22003-10-30
WO2003089997A22003-10-30
Foreign References:
US5357956A1994-10-25
US6615073B12003-09-02
US20180221085A12018-08-09
EP1233716B12014-07-30
US20010039413A12001-11-08
US20050177053A12005-08-11
US5357956A1994-10-25
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Claims:
Claims

1. A cardiac electrostimulation device comprising:

an active electrode device (120) comprising at least one active electrode (121, 122, 123, 124),

a neutral electrode (170),

a sensor device (160) comprising a voltage and/or current sensor, the sen sor device being connected to the neutral electrode (170), and being con figured to provide a cardiac signal,

a first selector switch (156) connected to at least one of the at least two ac tive electrodes and further connected to the sensor device (160) the first selector switch (156) being configured to electrically connect the sensor device (160) to the at least one of the at least two active electrodes (121, 122, 123, 124),

characterized in, that

the cardiac electrostimulation device further comprises:

a resistor (151) having a fixed value in the range of 10W to 1MW or being adjustable within a part of said range, the resistor being connected to the neutral electrode,

a second selector switch (155) connected to at least one of the at least two active electrodes (121, 122, 123, 124) and further connected to the resistor (151) the second selector switch (155) being configured to electrically con nect the resistor (151) to the at least one of the at least two active elec trodes (121, 122, 123, 124).

2. The cardiac electrostimulation device according to claim 1,

characterized in, that

the device is part of a catheter device wherein the active electrode device is located at a tip of the catheter and the neutral electrode is configured to be attached to a patient's body.

3. The cardiac electrostimulation device according to claim 1 or 2, characterized in, that

the control unit is configured to control the second selector switch, such that the resistor is connected to a predetermined electrode after a specific cardiac signal has been provided, wherein the cardiac signal may indicate a cardiac arrhythmia.

4. The cardiac electrostimulation device according to claim 1,

characterized in, that

the device is part of an implantable device which further may be a pace maker or a defibrillator wherein the neutral electrode is either part of the housing of the implantable device or the neutral electrode is configured to be implanted into a patient's body or the device is part of a catheter.

5. The cardiac electrostimulation device according to claim 1 or 2,

characterized in, that

the control unit is configured to control the second selector switch based on an external input signal or based on the setting of a configuration switch.

6. An electrophysiology catheter device (100) comprising a cardiac electrost imulation device according to claim 1,

characterized in, that

the electrophysiology catheter device comprises a catheter (110), the catheter (110) comprises a distal end (120) connected by a flexible shaft (140) to a proximal end (130),

the distal end (120) of the catheter (110) comprises the active electrode device (121), each of the active electrodes (121) is connected via a plurality of wires (125) to at least one connector (131) at the proximal end (130), the neutral electrode (170) is configured to be attached to a patient (400). 7. An electrophysiology catheter device (100) according to claim 6, characterized in, that

the catheter (110) is configured to electrically connect an RF surgery gener ator or ice, ultrasound or laser external generator to at least one of the ac tive electrodes.

8. An electrophysiology catheter device (100) according to claim 6 or 7,

characterized in, that

the catheter (110) comprises to a control handle (180) configured to con trol the sensor device (160) and/or the control unit (150).

9. An electrophysiology catheter device (100) according to any of the previ ous claims,

characterized in, that

the sensor device (160) is configured to record the voltage and/or current over time and/or

the sensor device (160) is configured to measure the current flowing out of the heart by at least one of the electrodes (121 - 124).

10. An electrophysiology catheter device (100) according to any of the previ ous claims,

characterized in, that

the signal selector (155) is configured to select one of each of the elec trodes (121 - 124) to be connected to the current meter (162) and/or the voltage meter (161).

11. An electrophysiology catheter device (100) according to any of the previ ous claims,

characterized in, that

the flexible shaft (140) of the catheter (100) comprises at least one flexible wire (141) formed of a super elastic material and shaped to bias the distal end (120) in at least one orientation in response to movement of an oper ating element (181) of the catheter (110).

12. An electrophysiology catheter device (100) according to any of the previ ous claims,

characterized in, that

the handle (180) has an operating element (181) for triggering different measurement functions of the control unit (150) or the sensor device (160).

13. An electrophysiology catheter device (100) according to any of the previ ous claims,

characterized in, that

the control unit (150) or the sensor device (160) is configured to process a set of measurement data delivered by the current meter (162) and/or the voltage meter (161), and/or

the control unit (150) or the sensor device (160) is configured to display the set of measurement data at a display as previously processed by the con trol unit (150) or the sensor device (160).

14. An electrophysiology catheter device (100) according to any of the previ ous claims,

characterized in, that

a control unit is provided and configured to control the first selector switch (156) and the second selector switch (155) optionally dependent on the cardiac signal. 15. An electrophysiology catheter device (100) according to any of the previ ous claims,

characterized in, that

the active electrode device (120) comprises at least two active electrodes (121, 122, 123, 124).

AMENDED CLAIMS

received by the International Bureau on 22 April 2020 (22.04.2020)

1. A cardiac electrostimulation device comprising:

an active electrode device (120) comprising at least one active electrode (121, 122, 123, 124),

a neutral electrode (170),

a sensor device (160) comprising a voltage and/or current sensor, the sen- sor device being connected to the neutral electrode (170), and being con- figured to provide a cardiac signal,

a first selector switch (156) connected to at least one of the at least two ac- tive electrodes and further connected to the sensor device (160) the first selector switch (156) being configured to electrically connect the sensor device (160) to the at least one of the at least two active electrodes (121, 122, 123, 124),

characterized in, that

the cardiac electrostimulation device further comprises:

a resistor (151) having a fixed value in the range of 10W to 1MW or being adjustable within a part of said range, the resistor being connected to the neutral electrode,

a second selector switch (155) connected to at least one of the at least two active electrodes (121, 122, 123, 124) and further connected to the resistor (151) the second selector switch (155) being configured to electrically connect the resistor (151) to the at least one of the at least two active elec- trodes (121, 122, 123, 124). characterized in, that the channeling of the current out of the heart is provided through the second selector switch (155) via the resistor (151) without delivering ablation energy to the tissue or creating a lesion of the tissue itself.

2. The cardiac electrostimulation device according to claim 1, charac terized in, that

the device is part of a catheter device wherein the active electrode device is located at a tip of the catheter and the neutral electrode is configured to be attached to a patient’s body.

3. The cardiac electrostimulation device according to claim 1 or 2,

characterized in, that the control unit is configured to control the second selector switch, such that the resistor is connected to a predetermined electrode after a specific cardiac signal has been provided, wherein the cardiac signal may indicate a cardiac arrhythmia.

4. The cardiac electrostimulation device according to claim 1, characterized in, that

the device is part of an implantable device which further may be a pace- maker or a defibrillator wherein the neutral electrode is either part of the housing of the implantable device or the neutral electrode is configured to be implanted into a patient’s body or the device is part of a catheter.

5. The cardiac electrostimulation device according to claim 1 or 2,

characterized in, that

the control unit is configured to control the second selector switch based on an external input signal or based on the setting of a configuration switch.

6. An electrophysiology catheter device (100) comprising a cardiac

electrostimulation device according to claim 1,

characterized in, that

the electrophysiology catheter device comprises a catheter (110), the catheter (110) comprises a distal end (120) connected by a flexi ble shaft (140) to a proximal end (130),

the distal end (120) of the catheter (110) comprises the active electrode device (121), each of the active electrodes (121) is connected via a plurality of wires (125) to at least one connector (131) at the proximal end (130), the neutral electrode (170) is configured to be attached to a patient (400).

7. An electrophysiology catheter device (100) according to claim 6, characterized in, that

the catheter (110) is configured to electrically connect an RF surgery generator or ice, ultrasound or laser external generator to at least one of the active electrodes.

8. An electrophysiology catheter device (100) according to claim 6 or 7, characterized in, that

the catheter (110) comprises to a control handle (180) configured to control the sensor device (160) and/or the control unit (150).

9. An electrophysiology catheter device (100) according to any of the previous claims,

characterized in, that

the sensor device (160) is configured to record the voltage and/or current over time and/or

the sensor device (160) is configured to measure the current flowing out of the heart by at least one of the electrodes (121 - 124).

10. An electrophysiology catheter device (100) according to any of the previous claims,

characterized in, that

the signal selector (155) is configured to select one of each of the electrodes (121 - 124) to be connected to the current meter (162) and/or the voltage meter (161).

11. An electrophysiology catheter device (100) according to any of the previous claims,

characterized in, that the flexible shaft (140) of the catheter (100) comprises at least one flexible wire (141) formed of a super elastic material and shaped to bias the distal end (120) in at least one orientation in response to movement of an operating element (181) of the catheter (110).

12. An-electrophysiology catheter device (100) according to any of the previous claims,

characterized in, that

the handle (180) has an operating element (181) for triggering dif ferent measurement functions of the control unit (150) or the sen sor device (160).

13. An electrophysiology catheter device (100) according to any of the previous claims,

characterized in, that

the control unit (150) or the sensor device (160) is configured to process a set of measurement data delivered by the current meter (162) and/or the voltage meter (161), and/or

the control unit (150) or the sensor device (160) is configured to display the set of measurement data at a display as previously processed by the control unit (150) or the sensor device (160).

14. An electrophysiology catheter device (100) according to any of the previous claims,

characterized in, that

a control unit is provided and configured to control the first selector switch (156) and the second selector switch (155) optionally dependent on the cardiac signal.

15. An electrophysiology catheter device (100) according to any of the previous claims, characterized in, that the active electrode device (120) comprises at least two active electrodes (121, 122, 123, 124).

Description:
Device for an electrophysiology procedure

Field of the invention

The present invention relates to electrophysiology catheters, systems and meth ods for performing cardiac mapping and/or ablation procedures.

Description of the related art

EP 1233716 B1 discloses a catheter which has a helical electrode member. The effective length and diameter of this electrode member can be adjusted by actu ating a stylet which runs through a hollow, flexible body of the catheter. The sty let runs through hollow, flexible body before exiting the body at aperture. The stylet re-enters the body of the catheter through aperture and in to anchor member.

US 2001/0039413 A1 describes a steerable catheter. The catheter comprises a wire housed within a sheath which is formed of a shape-retentive and resilient material having a curved shape at its distal end. An operator can adjust the shape and radius of curvature of the distal end region.

US 2005/0177053 A1 shows as system for perform an ablation procedure. The handle shown in the system has a safety switch for shutting down the RF genera tor which delivers current to the heart via the catheter.

WO 03/089997 A2 discloses a method and apparatus for control of ablation en ergy in an electrophysiology catheter. It does not provide means for selective stimulation of the heart. It uses resistors to form a virtual electrical null point (average) for unipolar electrogram channels. The resistors are fixedly connected and cannot be switched. US 5,357,956 A discloses an apparatus for monitoring an endocardial signal dur ing ablation with the same single electrode. A switch switches either the ablation device or the monitor to the single electrode.

Summary of the invention

In view of the prior art, the problem to be solved by the invention is to provide a cardiac electrostimulation device, a simple and robust catheter device for an electrophysiology procedure and a method for an electrophysiology procedure of the heart.

The solution of the problem is described in the independent claims. The depend ent claims relate to further improvements of the invention.

Background

Catheter examination is a special cardiac procedure for patients with cardiac ar rhythmias. A catheter exam can determine accurately which form of an arrhyth mia is present. Usually the treatment can be performed concurrently to the ex amination and diagnosis.

The human heart is a very complex organ, who exerts efficient and rhythmical muscle contractions when the electrical impulse flows properly through it. The electrical impulse appears to originate at a specific region inside the right atrium to be further on conducted throughout the heart, first through the atria (from the sinoatrial node down to the atrioventricular node) and then through the ven tricles along the specific His-Purkinje system, causing a contraction of the mus cles that results in a heartbeat. The atria contract first, followed by the ventri cles. This is essential for the proper functioning of the heart.

An irregular propagation of the electrical impulses disrupts the heart's proper function. This disfunction is defined as a cardiac arrhythmia. Arrhythmias can oc- cur if the electrical impulse originating from another regions initiates and main tains abnormal rhythms, what is called an ectopic or focal arrhythmia. Another possibility is, when electrical impulse circulates repetitively in a closed circuit what is called a reentrant arrhythmia.

To prevent these disturbances, medical techniques and equipment have been developed. The techniques and the equipment is used to locate cardiac regions responsible for the cardiac arrhythmias. Afterwards those regions can be disa bled rendering arrhythmias unable to reproduce themselves. The common tech nique known from the state of the art is to apply electrical stimuli from an exter nal stimulator to various portions of the heart tissue to trigger a disorder or an arrhythmia and to detect stepwise the dissipation of the electrical energy throughout the heart. The responsible tissue that provokes or maintains the ar rhythmia can thus be identified and subsequently ablated to produce scars that either interrupt the conduction pathways or terminate the focal initiation. In medicine, ablation is the same as removal of a part of biological tissue, usually by surgery.

The regions to be ablated are usually determined by means of a cardiac mapping technique. Mapping typically involves introducing a catheter having one or more electrodes into the patient, in the close proximity of the heart of the patient, by advancing the catheter through a blood vessel and into an inner or endocardial aspect of the heart, or by approaching the outer or epicardial aspect of the heart through a pericardial access. Thus, a continuous, simultaneous recording can be made with a multichannel recorder at each of several different endocardial or epicardial positions. The real time processing of the totality of these recordings from various endocardial and/or epicardial positions allows the creation of a car diac map on which the regions targeted for the ablation are displayed.

An ablation catheter delivers energy to the tissue for deliberately creating a tar geted lesion in the tissue. One or more suitably positioned lesions will typically create a region of ablated tissue which serves to the elimination of the arrhythmogenic substrate thus disa bling the appearance and/or the maintenance of the arrhythmia.

The ablation energy can be, for example, RF, DC, ultrasound, microwave, cold or laser radiation. The RF ablation is carried out by applying radio-frequency (RF) energy to the catheter electrodes.

A RF-ablation catheter with at least one electrode can transmit electric radio-fre quency energy to the tissue adjacent to that electrode to create a targeted lesion into the tissue.

The detection of the problematic region and the ablation will be executed with different catheters. For the correct positioning of a treatment catheter (ablation) a special catheter is used. This catheter can very accurately determine the source of pathological signals from the heart. An ablation catheter is capable of examin ing specific areas.

A first embodiment relates to a cardiac electrostimulation device and an electro physiology catheter device adapted for direct tissue contact. The cardiac elec trostimulation device may comprise an active electrode device comprising at least one or at least two active electrodes, a neutral electrode, a resistor con nected to the neutral electrode and a second selector switch configured to con nect the resistor further to at least one of the at least one or at least two active electrodes. It may further comprise a first selector switch configured to connect a sensor device comprising a voltage and/or current sensor to at least one of the at least one or at least two active electrodes. A control unit may be provided and configured to control the first selector switch and the second selector switch de pendent on the cardiac signal. According to the setting of the second selector switch, a selected active electrode may be connected via the resistor to the neu- tral electrode, forming an electrical current path from the selected active elec trode to the neutral electrode. This allows for outchanneling of current from the heart.

The cardiac electrostimulation device may be an internal compound of a cardiac pacemaker or defibrillator. The electrostimulation device may be used for selec tive stimulation and therefore may be configured to connect the resistor to at least one of the at least two active electrodes, if an arrhythmia is detected by the pacemaker or defibrillator. Such therapies can be activated by the device as many times as the arrhythmia presents itself. That involves a repeatedly out- channeling of current out of the heart by the variation of the resistor parameters until the arrhythmia terminates. This configuration may be programmed as part of the conventional programming session of a cardiac pacemaker or defibrillator.

Preferably, the electrophysiology catheter device comprises a catheter, a control unit, a sensor device and a neutral electrode.

When the heart beats too slowly or does not exhibit a spontaneous electric activ ity at all, the implantable devices like a pacemaker or a defibrillator provide heart stimuli in order to pace the heart to a normal frequency.

When the heart beats too rapidly as during a tachyarrhythmia, pacemakers can react by overdriving that tachyarrhythmia, defibrillators can further on deliver electrical shocks to terminate the tachyarrhythmia if the previous overdriving al gorithms proved to be ineffective.

Overdriving a rapid arrhythmia is overcharging" the heart in an intent to termi nate the abnormal propagation.

Switching to a low impedance resistor and outchanneling current from the heart during the arrhythmia is deemed to terminate it too. This treatment has less neg ative impact and less side effects. The catheter preferably has a distal end and a proximal end. A flexible shaft con nects the distal end and the proximal end. The flexible shaft can be made of a plastic material. The proximal end of the catheter may be designed to be con nectable to a handle for operating the functions of the catheter as well as the functions of the catheter device, the control unit or the sensor device.

The distal end of the catheter comprises a plurality of electrodes. The electrodes can be located ring shaped around the distal end with a predefined distance from one electrode to another. Each of the electrodes is connected via a plurality of wires to a plurality of connectors at the proximal end of the catheter. The proximal end of the catheter may have a connecter for connecting the catheter to a handle. The connector may comprise a screw-plug connection for establish ing an electrical as well as a mechanical connection.

The control unit which may be contained in a separate housing comprises at least one resistor and at least one signal selector connected to the plurality of connectors at the proximal end of the catheter for setting a current path from the at least one resistor to at least one electrode of the catheter. The signal se lector may also be located within the handle. The signal selector may also con nect at least one electrode to a sensor device comprising a voltage and/or cur rent sensor, which may be a voltage meter, a current meter or a measuring am plifier. The signal selector may be implemented but not only as semiconductor circuit.

The control handle for operating the functions of the catheter as well as the functions of the catheter device may have at least one operating element to con trol the resistor and/or the selector. Additionally, the control handle may have an additional operating element to control the catheter respectively the move ment of the distal end. The control handle may have at least one electrical con nection for connecting the control handle to the catheter and/or the control unit. Preferably, the electrical connection of the catheter corresponds to electri cal connection of the control handle. In one embodiment, the control handle can be located in the signal path between the catheter and the control unit.

The sensor device may be part of the control unit and may comprises a voltage and/or a current sensor or -meter. The sensor is connected by the signal selector to at least one of the electrodes which can be the same or another than the elec trode connected to the resistor. The configuration of the resistor according to the electrodes and the sensor device is dependent of the measurement task, which has to be executed. In one embodiment, the sensor device is configured to to record the voltage and/or current over time. In other words, the sensor device is able to detect at which time which electrical potential is at a dedicated elec trode. In another embodiment, the sensor device can be configured to measure the current channeled out of the heart by one of the electrodes via the resistor. The catheter device may further comprise a control terminal with a display for controlling the measurement results as well as the chosen setting of the catheter device. The screen can be configured as a touch screen to control the functions of the catheter device.

The neutral electrode may be connected to the at least one resistor or the sensor device directly or via at least one selector switch which may be part of the con trol unit and may be configured to be attached to a patient. The neutral elec trode closes the electrical circuit via the at least one electrode at the distal end of the catheter. For attaching the electrode to a patient, the neutral electrode may have an adhesive surface.

The flexible shaft may have several working channels as guide for several tools or electrical, optical or mechanical connections such as wires. The working channels can also be used as media feed-through for example for liquids. The catheter may have a diameter from approximately 1 to 5, preferably from 1 to 3 mm. The flexible shaft may include at least one wire, which can be formed of a super elastic material and can be shaped to bias the flexible shaft as well as the distal end in several orientations. The super elastic wire may be connected to a control element of the control handle.

As aforementioned, the heart exhibits a spontaneous electrical activity or needs to be stimulated during a regular electrophysiological cardiac procedure by a cur rent produced by an external electrical stimulator in order to deliberately repro duce specific arrhythmias. The invention considers that the heart works as gener ator for its own in both normal and arrhythmic settings to produce electrical en ergy that serves for triggering the muscle contraction of the specific muscle re gions in the heart. In some settings the abnormal electrical current flow through out the heart during the arrhythmia may contribute to the perpetuating of the arrhythmia itself rendering it incessant, persistent or permanent or jeopardizing the patient life.

The resistor which can be controlled by the operating element of the control handle enables to channeling current out of the heart via at least one of the elec trodes at the distal end. Thus, a lesion respectively an interruption of the current path can be simulated. The amended current dissipation can be recorded by us ing values from the sensor device respectively the recording over time of the voltage signal curve via the plurality of electrodes. The voltmeter can be at tached to the electrodes via the selector or it may have several inputs up to the number of electrodes. Thus, it is possible to measure the voltage between differ ent electrodes as well as the temporal signal dissipation over the electrodes. If a current is channeled out at a specific position of the heart, some electrodes at another position of the distal end will detect an amended or no voltage signal. Current can be channeled out of the heart by connecting a resistor to an elec trode via the selector. The value of the resistor can also be varied by on operat- ing element of the handle. In this way the practitioner can determine which posi tion within or at the heart has to be ablated to prevent unwanted current dissi pation.

To perform the ablation of the tissue at a specific position with the aforemen tioned catheter an external generator, which may be an RF surgery generator, can be used to supply energy to the tip assembly of the catheter. The tip assem bly then heats up to approximately 60 degrees Celsius. The generator can be connected to the catheter via the electrical connection at the control handle.

The aforementioned catheter will be used for performing an electrophysiology procedure at a human's body.

After a local anesthesia of the groin, a puncture needle is inserted into the vein and at least one catheter is advanced through the inferior vena cava to the heart. The position of the catheter can be checked by fluoroscopy. The access to the heart can also be epicardial. Then the catheter is at the outer surface of the heart.

At various points in the heart, a cardiac electrogram (EGM) may be recorded. During the measurement, the dissipation of electrical signals within the heart will be estimated with the aforementioned catheter.

By varying the value of the variable resistor current can be channeled out of the heart via at least one electrode at the distal end of the catheter to trigger the ar rhythmia or to simulate an electrical interruption by channeling current out of the heart. The amended current dissipation can be recorded via the voltmeter respectively the recording over time of the voltage signal curve via the plurality of electrodes. In this way it is possible to determine the point responsible for the arrhythmia respectively to find points which has to be ablated to prevent an un wanted current dissipation. If the diagnosis is established, ablation can be performed with an extra ablation catheter if necessary. Ablation can be performed by application of high-fre quency current (frequency BOO - 500 kHz, power 10 - 50 watts, with a duration of a single application several seconds to several minutes) to the tip assembly at the working end of the catheter, so that the cardiac tissue responsible for the ar rhythmia is destroyed or altered.

To perform the ablation of the tissue, an external generator which may be an RF surgery generator, supplies energy to the tip assembly of the ablation catheter. The tip-tissue assembly then heats up to approximately 60-65 degrees Celsius, resulting in a small scar at this point. Through this scar, the interruption of the undesired current path is achieved. As aforementioned, alternative sources of energy can be employed in order to place the targeted tissue lesion.

When the catheter device is used for an electrophysiologic procedure, identify ing the electrically altered region inside the heart during a diagnostic mapping can be instantly followed by electrically addressing that region without deploying of a lesion id.est. without ablation to prevent abnormal dissipation of electricity from that region after the procedure.

Most of the currently used catheters are open irrigated catheters allowing fluid passage from the proximal end to the distal end through their internal lumina and especially directed to the distal tip electrode to prevent heating and clot for mation during their use inside the heart and particularly during ablation of the heart tissue.

Instead of purging the catheter with sterile saline, an electrically active dye can be passed through and further on used to first identify the electrically altered re gion inside the heart which can be consequently„sealed" to assure a permanent current outchanneling from that zone into the circulating blood inside the heart, which may serves as neutral electrode in some settings. This curative„sealing" of the arrhythmia or of the arrhythmic substrate is not ablation and deserves so far an individual name.

A further embodiment relates to a method for treating a human or animal body as further described herein.

Description of Drawings

In the following, the invention will be described by way of example, without limi tation of the general inventive concept, on examples of embodiment with refer ence to the drawings.

Fig. 1 shows a catheter device.

Fig. 2 shows a schematic diagram of the catheter device.

Fig. 3 shows a sectional view of the heart with a catheter.

Fig. 1 shows a catheter device 110 with a handle 180. The catheter 110 is divided into three parts. The catheter 110 has a proximal end 130 a flexible shaft 140 and a distal end 120.

The distal end has a plurality of electrodes 121, 122, 123, 124.

The control handle 180 has two operating elements 181, 182 to control the func tion of the catheter or the catheter device. In this configuration, the control han dle 110 can be configured to control the distal end 120 of the catheter 110 via the operating element 181. The control handle 180 can be further configured to trigger different measurement functions of the catheter respectively of the con trol unit or the sensor device via the operating elements 182. The control handle 180 can have at least one electrical connection for connecting the control handle to the catheter 110 and/or to other parts of the catheter device 100.

Fig. 2 shows a schematic diagram of the electrophysiology catheter device 100. The catheter 110 has at its distal end 120 a plurality of electrodes 121, 122, 123 and 124. Although here four electrodes are shown, the catheter may have any number of electrodes between 2 and 20, preferably between 6 and 12. These electrodes are connected via wires 125 in the catheter and a connector 131 to a control unit 150. The control unit comprises a first selector switch 155 connected to the electrodes and a resistor 155. It is not necessary that the selector switch is connected to all electrodes. Two electrodes or more are sufficient. The resistor may be a fixed or a variable resistor. It preferably is in the range from 10 to 2000 Ohm, preferably between 200 and 400 Ohm. The control unit comprises a sec ond selector switch 156 connected to the electrodes and a sensor device 160.

The sensor device may be a voltage or current meter. The term voltage or cur rent meter includes all devices which are able to measure voltages and/or cur rents. This includes amplifiers and analog/digital converters which may provide digital information to a computer. It is not necessary that the selector switch is connected to all electrodes. Two electrodes or more may be sufficient.

A neutral electrode is connected to the resistor and/or sensor device.

This neutral electrode 170 allows current from the heart 200 of the patient to flow back to the body. For attaching the neutral electrode 170 to a patient, the neutral electrode 170 may have an adhesive surface.

Fig. 3 shows a heart 200 in detail. For the correct positioning of the ablation catheter 300, the inventive catheter 100 can be used. This catheter can very ac curately determine the source of morbid signals from the heart 200. By means of an ablation catheter 300, these areas can then be targeted. With the tip assem bly 310 of the ablation catheter 300 lesions (scars) in the heart 200 can be set which suppressed the transmission of pathological impulses. An additional cathe ter 360 can be used to apply an electrical signal to different positions within the heart 200 or to record a cardiac electrogram (EGM). Although the invention has been illustrated and described in detail by the em bodiments explained above, it is not limited to these embodiments. Other varia tions may be derived by the skilled person without leaving the scope of the at tached claims.

In addition, numerical values may include the exact value as well as a usual toler ance interval, unless this is explicitly excluded.

Features shown in the embodiments, in particular in different embodiments, may be combined or substituted without leaving the scope of the invention.

List of reference numerals

100 electrophysiology catheter device

110 catheter

120 distal end

121-124 electrodes

125 wires

130 proximal end

131 connectors

140 flexible shaft

141 flexible wire

150 control unit

151 resistor

155 first selector switch

156 second selector switch

160 sensor device

161 voltage meter

162 current meter

170 neutral electrode

180 handle

181 operating element

182 operating element

200 heart

300 ablation catheter

310 tip assembly

360 catheter