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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: John F. Moran, MD (Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine)
Description: This book covers cardiac arrhythmias in a well focused format.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a reasonable and practical guide to the diagnosis and, in part, the management of all cardiac arrhythmias. There is also an update of some current thinking on arrhythmias that includes radio frequency ablation.
Audience: The book is designed for medical residents and medical students, but nurses would also see some value here.
Features: The book covers the diagnosis of common cardiac arrhythmias and presents many well done illustrations with a pink grid with black tracings. All illustrations are clear and good. The book starts with chapters on premature beats and escape beats and then proceeds into tachycardias and bradycardias. Each chapter has a table at the end containing the main points of the respective arrhythmia considered there. This book is considered a manual and there is a practical description of arrhythmias, but it is extensive enough to present some information on right ventricular outflow tachycardias and the signal averaged electrocardiogram, overdrive pacing for ventricular tachycardia, the Brugado syndrome and retrograde concealed conduction. There is a pointed chapter on neurogenic syncope and a good chapter on the controversies of antiarrhythmic drugs. There are some differences in American practice; for instance, for acute drug conversion of atrial fibrillation — the author does not mention intravenous Ibutilide which may not be available in the United Kingdom. The chapter on arrhythmias, post myocardial infarction, suggests that ventricular tachycardia might well be treated by Amiodarone or Sotolol. Nowadays, in the United States, intracardiac defibrillators would get a consideration. In the chapter on temporary pacing, the author suggests that the subclavian vein is the best approach. In the United States, the jugular venous approach is more popular.
Assessment: The book meets expectations and is planned to cover a gap between the very basics of electrocardiography and the many detailed electrophysiologic books available. It is designed for house officers. The material is easily accessible, it is well written and the illustrations are good. In addition, there are 94 practice electrocardiograms. The index is good. The book contains no references, which is in keeping with the goals. Overall, it is a good addition to the literature.