From The New England Journal of Medicine
Cohn and Edmunds have edited exactly the kind of state-of-the-art textbook that is essential for practitioners and students of cardiac surgery. Such a book is needed because innovations in surgical technique and in strategies for the treatment of cardiac disease and the controversies surrounding the introduction of such new practices are appearing at an ever-accelerating pace. An up-to-date understanding of the theory and practice of modern cardiac surgery is critical to those interested or participating in the field. The fundamentals of cardiac surgery, including normal cardiac anatomy and physiology, drug therapies, and monitoring techniques, are appropriately covered in this book, typically as individual chapters. Also included among the 65 chapters are such topics as tissue engineering and therapeutic angiogenesis and the newly introduced techniques of off-pump surgery and laser revascularization. The references for each chapter include many citations to work published as recently as 2002. Relatively new subjects such as intramural hematomas of the aorta and recently introduced valve prostheses are also fully described. Writing about the "cutting edge" carries the risk of portraying untested theories and unproved procedures as the gold standard. In this case, however, the writers do an excellent job of separating fact from possibility. Cardiac Surgery in the Adult has many other features that are desirable in a surgical textbook. The descriptions of operative techniques are clear and concise and are accompanied by useful diagrams. One could easily conduct an operation on the basis of this material. Alternative techniques are also fully described, as in the chapters on aneurysms of the aortic arch and repair of the mitral valve. These chapters also include data from definitive trials of such procedures as coronary bypass and angioplasty. One is tempted, however, to look for even more recent information that has not been included, such as that pertaining to recent trials of stents and drug-eluting stents. The editors are to be commended for having selected internationally recognized experts for almost every chapter of their textbook and for having provided a layout and figures that are internally consistent and extremely readable. Textbooks like this usually suffer from poor-quality photographic reproduction of previously published figures. Although this book is not immune to this limitation, the use of such images has been minimized. Overall, Cardiac Surgery in the Adult is an outstanding addition to the surgical literature that is sure to earn its place as a valued reference and a necessary source for definitive information with regard to the practice of cardiac surgery. Todd K. Rosengart, M.D.
Copyright © 2004 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved. The New England Journal of Medicine is a registered trademark of the MMS.
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