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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: John F. Moran, MD (Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine)
Description: This is a multi-authored (157) text edited by Dr. Eugene Braunwald and divided into nine sections and 100 chapters. This text represents an updated and revised version of the cardiology section of the Internet Version of Harrison's Principles of Medicine.
Purpose: The purpose was to provide up-to-date information in 100 areas of Cardiology, including current clinical trials such as the RALES Trial on Aldosterone and the AbioCor implantable replacement heart.
Audience: This is a well-written text which would be useful for medical students as well as medical residents, practitioners, and cardiologists. The authors are all credible and many were involved in the particular trials they are discussing.
Features: All chapters are relatively short and well-focused on their particular topics. Several chapters may deal with the same topic, for example hyperlipidemia. There is a focused review on triglycerides/HDL cholesterol, metabolism, and the treatment with Fibrates/Niacin. The VA HIT using Gemfibrozil is reviewed. There is even a chapter written by Dr. Dean Ornish on lifestyle changes. Coronary artery disease is well covered, and includes a chapter on diabetes mellitus with a review of treatments on current pathophysiology. Heart failure is well covered in several chapters with topics to discuss apoptosis, necrosis, tumor necrosis factor, and other cytokines that may affect the progression of heart failure. The use of EPO to treat anemia in heart failure is reviewed, as is brain naturetic peptide in both systolic and diastolic heart failure, the importance of diastolic dysfunction in hypertension and ischemia with early data on lamins, aldosterone and pacemaker therapy, heart transplants, as well as left ventricular assist devices.
Assessment: This is an excellent review of current cardiac topics with well-focused chapters on specific topics based on clinical trials. Each chapter comes with a short reference list. There are 36 color plates. This is a welcomed addition to the literature and may speak to the utility of the Internet and on-line reviews.