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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: John F. Moran, MD (Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine)
Description: This pocket-sized handbook on pediatric cardiology is designed to be a quick reference source for those taking care of children with cardiac problems. The book is divided into sections that include cardiac evaluation, diagnostic techniques, congenital heart disease, acquired heart disease, arrhythmias, neonates, and management of surgical patients.
Purpose: The purpose is to update and expand the information on pediatric heart disease.
Audience: This short, well-written pocket book seems ideal for medical students and residents on rotation in pediatric cardiology. It would serve as a source for established pediatricians as well.
Features: The book starts with a general approach to the pediatric cardiac patient, works its way through techniques such as echocardiography, the electrocardiogram, catheterization and angiography. There is even a small section on pediatric sedation for cardiac catheterization. There are brief discussions on all congenital heart defects, from atrial septal defects, ventricular septal defects, cushion defects, coarctation, and interrupted aortic arch, as well as double-outlet right ventricle and tetralogy of Fallot. All of these lesions and many more are discussed in terms of pathology, clinical presentations, diagnosis and management. All defects are illustrated with simple drawings. There are many tables, for instance listing syndromes and cardiac defects, as well as the differential diagnosis of heart murmurs, including the innocent murmur. The book starts with two pages of abbreviations which are used throughout and are reasonably standard. Acquired heart disease is well covered, from cardiomyopathy and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy through endocarditis and acute rheumatic fever. Again, there are many tables and graphs to illustrate the points. For example, there is a graph of mitral inflow velocities on echocardiography. Tachycardias and blocks are briefly discussed. There is a table of differential diagnoses of congestive heart failure in the neonate, a table on the differential diagnoses of chest pain in children, tables on the management of secondary hypercholesterolemia, as well as a strategy for managing these patients.
Assessment: This handbook suffers from the problem of all pocket-sized books in that it cannot go into depth in any particular area. However, it is easy and convenient to use. It contains much information in a very focused and concise fashion. The new edition is welcome and I am sure it will be appreciated by medical students on rotation in pediatrics, as well as pediatric residents.