Catheters are typically used to deliver leads, mapping/ablation systems, repair systems, stents, or other devices within a given chamber of the heart. Catheters can also be used to deliver pharmacological agents, contrast agents, or other therapies such as stem cells to the heart either within a chamber or into a given vessel (e.g., within the coronary sinus or vein, coronary arteries, or aorta). Typically guide wires, dilators, homeostasis valves, secondary catheters, and other accessories are used in combination with catheters. Catheters may also be steerable and/or have prefixed shapes.
Cardiac Ablation: In various chambers, a transseptal puncture through the fossa enables catheters to be delivered into the venous system (e.g., femoral or subclavian veins), thus allowing access to structures within the left heart. Typically the clinician attempts to ablate arrhythmias arising with the myocardium on the left side of the heart, either within the left atrium (e.g., around the pulmonary veins) or around the mitral valve (Wolf-Parkinson-White syndrome).