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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Hanna Konarzewska, MD (Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine)
Description: This is an addition to the library of books on cardiac arrhythmias with emphasis on technical aspects of diagnosis and treatment. The spiral binding is designed for easy and quick access to pertinent information.
Purpose: The authors try to satisfy the need of electrophysiology (EP) personnel for a comprehensive but concise reference for all procedures. They also provide clinical EP information to those outside the lab. By limiting discussion to classical presentations of arrhythmias they succeed in addressing those less familiar with the electrophysiology section of cardiology. This is a worthy goal as the knowledge may be very helpful during the pre-consultation patient encounter.
Audience: This book is addressed to all those working in the electrophysiology laboratory, as well as medical students, residents, and cardiology fellows. It would also be of value to many first contact physicians.
Features: Information on EP laboratory organization (technical information included) is combined with patient evaluation for various arrhythmia problems and syncope. An explanation of basic principles of arrhythmia electrophysiology is followed by a discussion of EP testing principles and a description of possible interventional techniques. As this text is meant as a concise guide to EP, placement of information such as complications, patient care, medications in separate chapters and then under specific procedure heading seems unnecessary. It also could be of value to combine information on arrhythmia and testing with specific interventional therapy. There are numerous charts, graphs, and illustrations that are clear and informative. However, these are often placed in the middle of narrative, which can be a bit confusing. Also, ventricular stimulation protocol, proposed by the authors, is different from those used universally. In addition, starting with short basic cycle length seems to collide with electrophysiology principles.
Assessment: The idea of providing essential information in a concise yet complete format has proven to be a success previously. Most of the authors' objectives are certainly met, so this should be a valuable tool for EP personnel. I would like to see a further reduction in narrative or a combination with headings and graphs, which would make at-a-glance consultation smoother. The format of the book is important as there are numerous manuals in which the same subject matter is addressed at different levels with different audiences targeted: Podrid's Handbook of Cardiac Arrhythmias, (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins,1996) for cardiologists and other physicians/students; Josephson's Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology:Techniques and Interpretations, 2nd Edition (Lea & Febiger, 1993); or Zipes' Cardiac Electrophysiology:From Cell to Bedside, 2nd Edition (W.B. Saunders Company, 1995) for electrophysiologists; or Fogoros' Electrophysiologic Testing, 2nd Edition (Blackwell Science, 1995) for nurses, technicians, students, and other non-electrophysiologists. The latter one misses, however, technical aspects of EP lab operation.