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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Mark R. Schleiss, MD (Children's Hospital Medical Center)
Description: The Coxsackie B viruses are a common cause of self-limited febrile viral syndromes, but rarely infection with these agents can cause myocarditis and subsequent dilated cardiomyopathies.
Purpose: The pathophysiology of these rare diseases is poorly understood, and the goal of this book is to provide an up-to-date overview of the molecular biology of these viruses as well as the pathophysiology of myocardiopathies.
Audience: The rarity of Coxsackie myocarditis, the lack of basic knowledge about the disease, and the paucity of clinically relevant information will unfortunately limit the general appeal of this book, which will likely generate interest only among those actively involved in the research of enteroviruses.
Features: The book suffers some from duplication of material, particularly in the early chapters, and from a lack of clear figure legends. For example, in the chapter on genetic divergence of Coxsackie viruses, extremely long segments of sequence are reproduced in meticulous detail with almost no explanation of what the reader is supposed to conclude from the data. Furthermore, some of the choices for chapters are surprising: for example, the inclusion of a chapter devoted to the still unproven relationship of Coxsackie myocarditis to dietary selenium deficiency (Keshan disease) and speculations about the role of antioxidants in disease pathogenesis seem inappropriate for a virology textbook. The space might have been better used to expand in more detail upon the extremely intriguing observations which suggest that Coxsackie myocarditis may be a immunopathogenic condition.
Assessment: More information about genetic host susceptibility factors and the role of immunomodulatory and/or antiviral therapies would have made this a text with broader general appeal. As it stands, only those investigators with a very specific interest in viral myocarditis will be likely to find this a useful addition to their personal or professional libraries.