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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Samer F Najjar, MD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Description: This pocket manual, written by cross-disciplinary authors, serves as a quick reference for individuals caring for patients with peripheral vascular disease. An outline format is used to organize information into clinically pertinent areas, ranging from broad concepts of patient management to specific vascular problems.
Purpose: The book was created in response to the increasing demand for a portable guide for practitioners of vascular medicine, as most of the other available texts were designed for vascular surgeons. It is intended as a handbook and reference guide in vascular medicine. The book covers the numerous developments in the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of vascular disease that have occurred in recent years, especially in the area of endovascular therapy. Most of the authors are from a cardiology or vascular medicine background.
Audience: The authors note that the book is written for physicians and physician extenders (physician assistants and nurse practitioners) from different disciplines such as cardiology, interventional radiology, vascular medicine and vascular surgery who care for vascular patients. It will be most useful as a reference for fellows in vascular medicine and, to a lesser degree, vascular surgery. It will also be a superb review for more senior residents and for the practicing clinician who cares for vascular patients on an occasional basis.
Features: This book covers a wide range of topics in detail. It begins with general concepts such as the noninvasive imaging and diagnostic angiography of vascular disease, and then moves on easily into concise chapters focusing on arterial and venous problems of common interest. The authors succeed in presenting the information in a clear and well-balanced manner. Chapters succinctly describe the most effective diagnostic assessment and treatment strategies, including drug doses, protocols for patient management, and algorithms. Each chapter is rich with useful illustrations and ends with a practical points section. The references are excellent and updated. The main strength of this book is its depth of discussion of endovascular and catheter-based therapies which is thorough and current, providing a solid review in a relatively short time. The anemic discussion of surgical options is an obvious weakness, but this seems deliberate given the stated audience and in keeping to the size of a handbook. Other excellent handbooks such as Handbook of Patient Care in Vascular Disease, Hallett, et al. (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2001) serve that purpose better.
Assessment: This is an excellent practical resource for managing common vascular diagnosis and will be particularly useful for the busy clinician. Because of the lack of depth of coverage of surgical procedures, the book may be a bit superficial for vascular surgeons, but it compensates by providing excellent discussion of diagnostic imaging and endovascular procedures. This handbook will enjoy wide applicability and appeal as it fills an unmet need for a concise guide written from a multidisciplinary perspective. This is definitely a worthwhile goal because of the rapid changes in vascular medicine, and the authors have done a very credible job of meeting that objective.