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From The CriticsReviewer: John F. Moran, MD (Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine)
Description: This is a review of the importance of nitric oxide to endothelial homeostasis in health and disease. The multi-authored text is divided into four parts covering the endothelium and nitric oxide, basic mechanisms of endothelial dysfunction, clinical studies of endothelial dysfunction, and therapeutic strategies to improve endothelial dysfunction. The book commemorates the Nobel Prize work by Dr. Robert Furchgott and the 50th Anniversary of the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide discussions of the biology and regulation of nitric oxide and the basic mechanisms of endothelial dysfunction and cardiovascular disease, most notably, atherosclerosis. These are, indeed, worthy objectives and point to the central role of nitric oxide in the endothelium.
Audience: This is a comprehensive review of endothelial regulation of vascular physiology and is intended for medical students, trainees, physicians, and scientists who are interested in this area of nitric oxide and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
Features: The focus is on the biology of nitric oxide and its effect on the endothelium both in the normal state and in cases of cerebral ischemia, hypertension, and problems of cardiac contractility (i.e., systolic and diastolic dysfunction). There is a good section on atherosclerosis which is an endothelial response to injury. The importance of hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, and diabetes in diminishing the bioactivity of nitric oxide on the endothelium is well documented. There are good pieces on estrogens and how they modulate production of nitric oxide. The section on basic mechanisms of endothelial dysfunctions and the clinical studies done in this area is particularly well done. The role of endothelin and nitric oxide in hypertension and the section on hypercholesterolemia are particularly good. The references to major works in these areas are well documented and up-to-date.
Assessment: Nitric oxide plays a critical role in the homeostasis of the arterial wall and the regulation of its vascular tone in inflammation and hemostasis. This is an important and readable text which is a definite addition to the medical literature.