Description: This is an update of a large, fairly complete book on the surgical treatment of children with congenital heart disease or conditions in close proximity to the heart. Originally published in 1985, it has previously been updated in 1994 and 2003.
Purpose: The editors state that the purpose is "Timely updates...as scientific intellectual curiosity, sentinel discoveries, and technological improvements have progressed at lightning speed." To this end, the book continues to provide updated and complete information on the field of pediatric cardiac surgery.
Audience: The tone and level of the book makes it accessible to practitioners in the field, most fellows and residents in surgery and cardiac training, and, with a little stretch, most medical students. The editors are two well-established pediatric cardiac surgeons who are assisted by 87 contributors from throughout the world, all reasonably prominently known in the areas about which they write.
Features: The book can be divided into three major portions. Chapters 1-11 comprise a general introduction that focuses on some aspect of cardiology care in general: anesthesia, cardiac development and physiology, and nomenclature, for example. Chapters 12-38 deal with specific cardiac anomalies and follow the standard format of anatomical development, presentation, diagnosis, and treatment (medical and surgical). The book concludes with eight chapters on miscellaneous topics that do not fit well into a single category. These chapters focus on cardiac tumors, pericardial disease, arrhythmia surgery, and transplantation. This section also includes a topic of great current interest: adult congenital heart disease.
Assessment: Overall, this is a reasonable update that brings this book current with the best examples of others in this area. It is large, complete, well illustrated, and readable, covering a very complex set of congenital anomalies.