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From The CriticsReviewer: Marc A. Silver, MD, FACP, FACC (Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine)
Description: Heart failure is emerging as a health crisis affecting millions of people. During the past two decades we have evolved our understanding of the pathophysiology of heart failure syndromes. However, recently our understanding has found new levels, many related not to the heart but rather systemic adaptations to the failing heart. To this end the Japanese Circulation Society details in this book some of the progress made in the field of heart failure research.
Purpose: The contributors take off from traditional understanding of heart failure mechanisms to explore the newest areas of research. These include the molecular basis of myocardial hypertrophy, gene control of the extracellular matrix, calcium metabolism, subcellular mechanisms of dysfunction including cytokine roles, and a modern view of myocardial energetics. A few discussions on therapeutics are included but mostly derive from the more mechanistic chapters. The monograph includes some very focused heart failure research from the best labs in Japan. For the most part the chapters are summaries of the research areas being developed in Japan.
Audience: This does not serve as an introductory text for the casual reader but is rather for the investigator or cardiovascular specialist interested in reading about the new horizons for the failing heart syndrome. Young investigators may also benefit from the richness of ideas included.
Features: The book contains accurate and current references. All figures are clear; most are in black and white. There is a good degree of homogeneity among the 13 chapters, resulting in part from excellent editing. A brief but useful index is also provided.
Assessment: This book is a vibrant addition to the heart failure library. It serves the purpose of opening our eyes as to how far we have come and yet may go into the understanding of the failing heart syndrome.