Textbook of Internal Medicine

Textbook of Internal Medicine

International Journal of Cardiology. 35 (1992) 285-286 0 1992 Elsevier Science Publishers B.V. All rights reserved 0167-5273/92/$05.00 285 CARD10 01...

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International Journal of Cardiology. 35 (1992) 285-286 0 1992 Elsevier Science Publishers B.V. All rights reserved 0167-5273/92/$05.00

285

CARD10 01477

Book Reviews Textbook of Internal

Medicine

Editor: William Kelley J.B. Lippincott Company, o-397-51048-9

2623 pp.; f75; ISBN

The Iargest Dinosaurs became so vast that they required a second central nervous system at the base of the spinal cord. Having become used to thinking with their bottoms, they then became extinct (a lesson here for certain people concerned with the National Health Service). This new volume is of brontosaurus size nearly 2,500 pages, a separate index the size of a short book, 10 editors and 529 contributors to 524 chapters. Before investing in such a book one needs to ask (a) do I want something of this size at all? and then (b) how does this volume compare with its competitors? My major difficulty with all these vast books is that despite the breadth of coverage, the actual detail on any one topic is likely to be scanty, and the subject better covered in specialised monographs. In these days of easy access to computerised literature searches, multi-author tomes such as this are not the place to seek out key references. Medicine is so rapidly changing, and becoming so vast a subject, that I wonder if this sort of book will survive many more years. These caveats aside, there is much to commend the book. Each subject (Gastroenterology, Neurology, Nephrology, etc.) is divided into three sections: ‘Scientific basis’, ‘Disorders of specific types’ and ‘Approach to the patient with a particular problem’. Thus in Cardiology there are chapters on biochemistry and physiology of circulatory control, and pathogenesis; chapters on specific disorders such as arrhythmia, pericardial disease, etc., and chapters on the use of particular techniques (e.g. radiology, echocardiography) and diagnostic problems (e.g. chest pain, heart murmurs). The book is well illustrated with good-quality reproductions. However, many of the bibliographies are too short to be useful, and most of the authors are based in North America, which prevents this being a truly international book. Nonetheless at f75 this book is still extremely good value. So who should buy it? I suspect most clinicians want some sort of large book in their office to grab in a panic, probably to read about a problem outside their

immediate field, coincidentally present in a patient under their care. Any of the sections would serve as a good introduction to a subject for a houseman, and it would be reasonable to use it as a basis for study for MRCP. There are many contenders for what for most of us is one place on our shelves; the final choice is probably based on personal prejudice as much as anything, but this new book should certainly be carefully considered along with the old favourites.

National Heart and Lung Institute London, UK

Andrew Bush Senior Lecturer in Paediatric Respiratory

Medicine

Atherectomy

Editors: David R. Holmes and Kirk N. Garratt BIackwell Scientific Publishers, Oxford, 1992; 229 pp., f45.00, ISBN 0-86542-190-O This recently published

hardback book is about 200 pages long and divided into thirteen chapters spanning titles such as “Where do we stand” to “What does the future hold?” It is edited by two acknowledged experts in the field of Interventional Cardiology and is a multi-author book with many of the chapters being written by similarly well recognised contributors to the field. In the foreword the principal objective stated was to “provide clinically useful up-to-the-minute information on evolving interventional technology as a strategy”. Unfortunately within that sentence lies the contradiction since much of the information in the book has been published elsewhere and has already been superceded by further studies and evolutionary changes within this field. The book may however, provide a good background to those who may be considering intervention using atherectomy. It essentially deals with the three devices available, namely John Simpson’s Directional Coronary Atherectomy device, the Rotablator and the TEC device. Much of what has been said in this book about these three devices in terms of clinical experience, complications and indications for their use could have