Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine, 6th Edition


June 12, 2001


Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine is a comprehensive, multiauthored clinical textbook on cardiovascular diseases geared to students, residents, and practitioners. The 6th edition of this well-known textbook has been extensively updated since the last version appeared in 1997. It remains an indispensable and authoritative reference book on cardiovascular medicine aimed at the professional reader.

Joining Eugene Braunwald, MD, editor of the 1st edition and a Distinguished Hershey Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, are 2 well-recognized and highly respected names: Douglas P. Zipes, MD, from the Krannert Institute of Cardiology in Indianapolis, Indiana, a leading authority in arrhythmology and clinical electrophysiology, and Peter Libby, MD, Chief of the Cardiovascular Division at Brigham and Women's Hospital (Harvard), and a renowned expert in vascular biology and disease.

The 6th edition of this text includes 30 new chapters written by 56 new authors. The original 42 chapters have been extensively revised, and many new illustrations have been added. The book begins with an interesting chapter on the global burden of cardiovascular disease, which discusses the worldwide epidemiology of heart disease and its effects and trends in both the developed and the developing world. This is followed by an excellent discussion of the economics of heart disease and the principles of cost-effective practice. There is a new section, "Relative Merits of Cardiovascular Diagnostic Techniques," which provides a rationale for the selection of a sound diagnostic approach to the cardiac patient.

There are 2 new chapters on heart failure, an extremely important field. In "Treatment of Heart Failure: Pharmacologic Methods" and "Management of Heart Failure," Dr. Zipes and selected colleagues provide excellent, extensively updated coverage of arrhythmias. "Hypotension and Syncope" is new to this section. "Cardiac Arrest and Sudden Cardiac Death" completes the arrhythmia coverage.

The section on atherosclerosis is completely new and represents the editorial input of Dr. Peter Libby, who authors or coauthors 3 chapters in this section. Good coverage of ischemic heart disease is provided with a look at acute myocardial infarction and unstable angina that provides an excellent overview of interventional cardiology. Unfortunately, William Grossman, MD, is no longer contributing a chapter on invasive cardiology. Despite this, the coverage of cardiac catheterization, coronary angiography, and intravascular ultrasound is complete.

The importance of molecular biology and genetics is clearly growing, and this edition includes a new chapter that addresses this admirably, titled "Principles of Cardiovascular Molecular Biology and Genetics," by Jeffrey M. Leiden, MD, PhD. The section titled "Genetics and Cardiovascular Disease" has been updated, and these 2 chapters complement each other well. The 6th edition also provides information on the manifestations of cardiovascular disease in differing populations, such as acquired heart disease in infancy; congenital heart disease in adults; coronary disease in women; and heart disease in the elderly, diabetic persons, HIV-infected individuals, and patients with neoplastic disease. There is a new chapter on hemostasis, thrombosis, and fibrinolysis, which is very helpful to the cardiologist who manages these disorders.

This edition also includes short "Guidelines" sections at the end of selected chapters, written by Thomas H. Lee, MD, whereas in the previous edition, there was only a single chapter devoted to treatment recommendations. The well-written text of these new sections is supplemented by clearly organized tables that summarize the clinical guidelines published by professional societies on electrocardiography, exercise stress testing, echocardiography, acute myocardial infarction, unstable angina, chronic coronary artery disease, and noncardiac surgery in patients with heart disease, to name a few.

The 6th edition of Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine is well organized and indexed, and includes many black and white photographs. It is available in a single- or 2-volume set and soon will be available in CD-ROM format. Indeed, through all its editions, it has remained an indispensable and authoritative reference book on cardiovascular medicine.


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