09215970 cites 185 patents.
A steerable imaging catheter is provided, including an elongated catheter tube, at least one steering cable extending along the catheter tube to control the movement of the distal end thereof, and a fiber optic cable extending along the catheter tube. The fiber optic cable transmits illumination light from its proximal end to its distal end and transmits an image from its distal end to its proximal end. In one embodiment, two or more steering cables are used, and the catheter tube is configured to have greater flexibility near its distal end than its proximal end so as to concentrate the movement (flexing) of the catheter tube at its distal end. The use of two or more steering cables, together with the catheter tube having varying flexibility, permit better control of the distal end of the catheter tube while reducing undue twisting of the remainder of the catheter tube.