Cardiovascular Therapeutics: A Companion to Braunwald’s Heart Disease
Elliott M. Antman, ed.
1213 pp. Philadelphia, Pa: W.B. Saunders Company; 2002. $149.00 ISBN: 0-7216-8733-4
This multi-author book contains comprehensive information on cardiovascular therapeutics, a rapidly changing field. Dr Antman is to be congratulated for bringing together 112 experts in their respective fields who collectively contribute 55 chapters. All aspects of cardiovascular therapeutics are covered.
The first 2 chapters, which deal with decision-making tools, are concise, are easy to read, and provide valuable information regarding the interpretation of test results and therapeutic trials.
The sections on ischemic heart disease in chapters 3 to 8 are well written, are extensively referenced, and cover various aspects of primary and secondary prevention and treatment of ischemic heart disease. The drugs and invasive treatment strategies discussed in these chapters are again covered in separate chapters in the later part of the book, in the chapters on antiplatelet and antithrombotic agents (chapters 25 to 28) and percutaneous coronary interventions and coronary artery bypass surgery (chapters 39 to 43, 45, and 48). Separately, the chapters provide extensive and useful information on each area covered. However, there is understandably quite a bit of repetition in different chapters by different authors regarding drug and other treatment modalities. At times, the reader is left with a mixed message on the same topic covered in different chapters, which may only emphasize that there is still debate over many treatment strategies.
Chapters 9 through 13 cover various aspects of chronic and acute heart failure in a concise and practical manner. Arrhythmias and conduction disturbances is covered in chapters 14 through 20. This section is easy to read and provides useful and practical information. Chapters 21 through 24 deal with management strategies for dyslipoproteinemias. Dietary treatment, pharmacological therapy, and treatment options for severe hypercholesterolemia are discussed in adequate detail.
Chapters 29 through 38 deal with hypertension. Pathophysiology and management of different forms of hypertension are well covered and extensively referenced. Surgical therapy and timing for valvular surgery is discussed in chapters 46 and 47. The last section in the book is entitled “Miscellaneous Conditions” and deals with gene therapy, pharmacotherapy during pregnancy, management of congenital heart disease in adults, and management of pericardial diseases and endocarditis.
With the rapidly changing field of pharmacotherapy, the information contained in chapters 2 and 6 regarding the use of hormonal therapy is unfortunately already outdated. Recently published data suggests that hormonal replacement therapy is not indicated in postmenopausal women for cardioprotection and actually increases the incidence of thromboembolic events. The authors in chapter 6 recommend routine use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors for the treatment of stable angina pectoris. This statement may be premature, as 2 large prospective placebo controlled trials (Prevention of Events with Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme inhibition [PEACE] and the European Trial on Reduction of Cardiac Events with Perindopril in Stable Coronary Artery Disease [EUROPA])with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors in patients with coronary artery disease and preserved left ventricular function are still ongoing.
There is a lot to recommend in this book. The chapters are extensively referenced. Most clinicians will not choose to read this book cover to cover because the information covered in many of the chapters, especially those dealing with ischemic heart disease, is somewhat repetitive. Nevertheless, the book provides a comprehensive review of the topics covered, and an interested reader should be able to use the material for teaching purposes and in daily practice. This book is a good companion to the widely read book Braunwald’s Heart Disease.