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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Tariq M. Malik, MD (University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine)
Description: This is a brief outline of the principles of cardiac anesthesia and transesophageal echocardiography accompanied by almost 100 video clips on a DVD. It covers all the basic topics of anesthesia for cardiac and aortic surgery and is quick way to acquire familiarity with the cardiac anesthesia setup.
Purpose: The book is meant for trainees doing their cardiac anesthesia rotation. It is not a comprehensive textbook and is not meant to provide in-depth knowledge. These are worthy objectives as the cardiac anesthesia room setup can be daunting and, to a great extent, the book satisfies them.
Audience: Although the book is targeted at anesthesia residents, it also can be used by any anesthesiologist who does not perform cardiothoracic anesthesia routinely as a refresher for a recertification exam or to do an emergency case in the middle of the night. Written under the supervision of experienced anesthesiologists, the book manages to remain very practical.
Features: Initially, the book covers cardiac physiology, preoperative evaluation of patients for the surgery, and transesophageal echocardiography (TEE). The chapter on TEE discusses the basic principles of ultrasound, goes over basic terminology, and has plenty of views, although it does not provide the technical details on how to get the views. The next series of chapters covers anesthetic considerations in the surgical repair of different heart conditions, such as bypass surgery, valve diseases, congenital heart diseases, and thoracic aortic surgery. Separate chapters cover off pump/robotic cardiac surgery, cardiac transplantation, and cardiac assist devices, and cardiopulmonary bypass physiology. The important topics of postsurgical pain and intensive care are covered, as are common complications after cardiac surgery. Each chapter uses more or less the same format, starting with an outline of physiology and pathophysiology of the condition followed by relevant anesthetic considerations. A case discussion at the end of chapter highlights relevant important anesthetic implications. All chapters end with a summary and a list of helpful references for more detailed information. The accompanying DVD has an impressive array of video clips. However, there is no discussion of pharmacology of inotropes, which is an inexplicable omission. Also missing is a discussion of the anesthetic management of patients with cardiac assist devices who come in for noncardiac surgeries. Overall, however, this is a great endeavor.
Assessment: There are quite few books on this subject. Most of them are quite comprehensive, and not suitable as pocket guides. The only similar book that could act as pocket guide is Cardiac Anesthesia, Barnard and Martin (Oxford University Press, 2010), but it is quite thick and is not as quick a read as this one. Overall this book is a nice guide and the quickest way to review cardiac anesthesia.