Description: This book is exactly what the title implies: a collection of autopsy photographs illustrating congenital heart disease accompanied by line drawings and text to explain the standard surgical corrections. It is a very graphic representation of the large collections of congenital hearts that were once maintained in most teaching centers to facilitate learning of the lesions and preparation for the surgical repairs.
Purpose: The authors state their book is not one to be read cover-to-cover, but "rather one to be used as a reference and training tool in developing an understanding of specific cardiac malformations and technical details of their surgical management." Reference to the actual photographs, line drawings, and brief text result in a successful accomplishment of introductory material and goal accomplishment, particularly with the simpler malformations. When the cardiac malformations are more complex and variable, the accomplishment of the goal is less successful due to the greater variability of both anatomy and repair.
Audience: The authors address the fact that more advanced legions represented in the book suggest that the reader is familiar with basic cardiovascular repairs. Consequently, the earlier chapters on simpler lesions will appeal to students and surgical house officers. The more complex material may have greater value to surgeons already well versed with cardiac malformations and who have entered advanced training in this field. The authors indicate their inspiration for this book came from surgical trainees at the Royal Liverpool Children's Hospital, Myrtle Street. Both now occupy senior positions in the Cardiac Unit, Institute of Child Health, University College, London or Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar.
Features: The book is divided into seven sections containing 30 chapters. The authors manage to sort all the covered anomalies into the seven sections by sorting them based on anatomical criteria; for example, extracardiac anomalies of the great arteries, anomalies related to the atriums, etc. This system works quite well and allows easy access to the section desired. The format in all sections is identical. After a 1- to 2-page introduction to the general subject, each anomaly is pictured on the left hand side of the page. On the right, simple line drawings with appropriate abbreviations identify the major anatomical components. Subsequent line drawings then illustrate the general repair(s) that would be used to correct the malformation. Photographic quality is excellent throughout, both for the autopsy specimens and the line drawings. Each chapter concludes with 10 to 20 suggested readings.
Assessment: This is a nicely produced atlas of congenital heart disease that updates standard repairs for most of the congenital cardiac malformations routinely seen in a busy pediatric cardiac service. Graphic quality is excellent, thus the clarity of presentation and suggested repair is high.