A Guide to Cardiology.
J. C. LEONARD and E. G. £1.7.6 .
1961. E. & S. Livingstone. Edinburgh and London. Pp. 267.
This book presents accuratel y in 250 pages the salient facts on which modern cardiological teaching , diagnosis and treatment are based. The subject is presented in good perspective, 70 pages are devoted to the three main types of heart disease; ischaernic, hypertensive and rheumatic ; 50 pages are concerned with history taking, examination and methods of investigation, and towards the end of the book the reader is introduced to congenital heart disease in a short chapter of 18 pages. The weakest section is that on heart failure, which is disappointing and could well have been expanded . The text is clearly illust rated throughout; the electrocardiograms are particularly well chosen. As in all works of this type and size, there is the danger that over simplification may lead to dogmatic statements which are not entirely justified. The authors , however. are obviously well aware of this and have been careful to avoid it. I know of no other book that covers this rapidly growing subject so briefly yet comprehensively and it can be recommended to all those interested in modern cardiology, not only to the 'undergraduate student, house physician and general practitioner' for whom the book was primarily written. The authors, both of whom have been Resident Medical Officers at the National Heart Hospital, should be congratulated for undertaking this difficult task and for the success they have made of it.
Textbook of Physiology and Biochemistry. H. BELL, J . NORMAN DAVIDSON & HAROLD SCARBOROUGH. 5th Edition. 1961. E. & S. Livingstone, Edinburgh and London. Pp. 1117. £3.IOs.
The first edition of this book was published in 1950 and the fourth only two years ago. Thi s indicates the success of the work with medical students and the speed of advance of knowledge in physiology and pharmacology. But why review it in ajournal read almost solely by chest physicians and others interested in tuberculosis? The study of chest diseases is perhaps the widest of the narrow specialities into which medicine has been divided . Not only must the competent chest physician be well trained in general medicine before he starts his special study, but he must also retain as much as possible of his general medical knowledge and keep, if not abreast of, at least not too far behind its advancing front. In the course of his routine clinical work during a short period he may , for instance, have to call on knowledge of heart disease, the collagen disorders, neurology, disease of the thyroid, diabetes, steroids, blood and renal diseases. The basis of this knowledge of disordered function was formed by early training in physiology and biochemistry; and frequently renewed acquaintance with both is refreshing. If it is 20 or 30 years since he attempted anything more than idly glancing at the pages of an old textbook, half an hou r's serious study of a modern one may evoke something more than a pleasant nostalgia. This textbook has proved its worth with those for whom it was intended-medical students. It should also be valuable to other students of medicine.