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From The CriticsReviewer: John E. Francis, M.D.(Ochsner Clinic Foundation)
Description: This manual provides a step-by-step method for accurate interpretation of standard 12-lead EKGs, using many algorithms, supported by explanatory text, diagrams, tables, and illustrative EKG tracings. This second edition expands upon the first (1997) by adding a "Basic Concepts" chapter, which describes in some detail the electrical activity of the heart and the genesis of the modern EKG and by adding 35 new illustrative EKG tracings. It also attempts to update the previous edition by placing increased emphasis upon analysis of the S-T segment because of its importance in the timely clinical assessment and treatment of patients with acute coronary syndromes.
Purpose: The author's stated purpose is to provide a new approach for the interpretation of the EKG by means of a step-by-step analysis of each component of the tracing, using both standard norms and measurements and numerous algorithms which are meant to guide the reader to a complete and accurate global assessment of any EKG. There are, as the author explicitly notes in his second chapter, other manuals in print, some for several decades, with the same general purpose, but the author implies that his method of organization and succinct presentation, make his book equally authoritative and more clinically pertinent. The manual is certainly complete, but is not notably more concise, nor easier to use than the others he mentions.
Audience: The book is directed at the broad audience of all those "who wish to be proficient in the interpretation of EKGs," from medical students to cardiology residents and internists, and it is quite complete in its coverage, although not always as clear and precisely accurate as it should ideally be.
Features: "Every aspect of analyzing EKGs is covered, including pertinent variants, but although the author places much emphasis on the novelty of his concentration upon abnormalities of the ST segment, the chapter devoted to this topic, though complete and useful, does not stand out as superior to what is available in other EKG manuals. There are many tables, diagrams, example EKGs, and algorithms, but there are occasional caption errors, and the stepwise algorithms are often cluttered and difficult to grasp. The index is thorough, but there is no formal bibliography. "
Assessment: This a useful manual, but even with the addition of the basic concepts chapter which provides more physiologic grounding for the inexperienced student, it does not stand out as clearly superior to similar publications, such as Wagner's Marriott's Practical Electrocardiography, 10th Edition (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2001) or Davis's How to Quickly and Accurately Master EKG Interpretation, 2nd Edition (J. B. Lippincott, 1992).