Manual of Vascular Diseases
Sanjay Rajagopalan, Debrabrata Mukkerjee, and Emile R. Mohler III, eds.
464 pages. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins; 2005. $59.95. ISBN 0-7817-4499-7
With the growing popularity of vascular medicine as a subspecialty in its own right, it is hardly news these days when a new text on the subject is published. As the field emerges from obscurity and from its subsidiary role as a handmaiden to vascular surgery, fueled by renewed interest in minimally invasive peripheral vascular intervention, the need for a concise, comprehensive review of the subject almost becomes an exigency.
The current offering by Drs Rajagopalan, Mukherjee, and Mohler does not disappoint in this regard. Printed in a pocket-sized paperback edition, the Manual of Vascular Diseases is a thorough review of what is inarguably a far-ranging clinical discipline. This primer on vascular disease illustrates clarity of thought and possesses brevity and excellent organization. It is thankfully not an attempt to present a voluminous analysis of the entire spectrum of vascular diseases. Such undertakings have been splendidly helmed in the past by Dr Jeffrey Olin, a contributing author to this text, and Dr Mark Creager, both of whom have each authored superb hardcover texts on the subject. Instead, this text manages to cover the salient clinical entities that a nonvascular medicine expert ought to know to effectively treat these diseases. With the advent of board certification for vascular medicine and endovascular intervention last year offered by the American Board of Vascular Medicine, the utility of such a text becomes readily apparent. It is sure to be a well-used resource for the increasing number of physicians in cardiology alone that now manage and treat these patients.
The text is presented in 28 chapters that focus on the more commonly encountered problems in vascular medicine. The short bibliography accompanying each respective chapter lists relevant, recent articles and reviews. Each chapter ends with a concise summary of the salient points featured in the text that is presented in bullet form.
The first 7 chapters deal with clinical evaluation and imaging strategies in the management of vascular disease. These chapters, especially those concerning management of chronic limb ischemia, intermittent claudication, and acute limb ischemia are especially well written. The data presented appear contemporary and the tables well organized and easy to navigate.
Chapters 8 through 17 concentrate on specific arterial diseases, ranging from vasospastic disorders to Buerger’s disease. The writing is detailed and satisfyingly esoteric for a book of this type, intended mainly for quick reference. The authors have managed to seamlessly blend the diagnosis and medical management of these diseases and the principles of therapy, both surgical and endovascular. The angiographic examples have been carefully selected and are emblematic of commonly seen problems in the interventional vascular suite.
However, a vascular pedant may argue that the true worth of a vascular medicine text lies in its treatment of venous and lymphatic disorders. This text certainly does not fail in this regard. Chapters 18 through 25 provide the vascular dilettante with a thorough grounding in the diagnosis and management of these disorders. The chapters dealing with the diagnostic approach to venous disease and the management of varicose veins merit special mention for their clarity and excellent organization. The accompanying graphic figures and photographs have again been meticulously culled to form a visual continuum that nicely complements the text.
A substantial yet concise review of inflammatory vasculitis is provided in Chapter 24. Specific disorders such as leukocytoclastic vasculitis, polyarteritis nodosum, Wegener’s granulomatosis, and Churg-Strauss syndrome are succinctly profiled, along with their representative angiographic manifestations. Because photomicrographs are now a standard part of the vascular medicine board examinations, these reviewers wish that images of biopsy specimens were also provided. The editors would do well to think about including color photographs and photomicrographs of the major vasculitic disorders in the next edition of this book so that their pathognomonic features, both clinical and cellular, can be definitively and easily identified. In this first edition, the principal vasculitides are tabulated and written descriptions of the micrographic findings are provided. This is clearly an area that can do with some improvement.
In summary, the Manual of Vascular Diseases is an excellent, detailed review of vascular medicine that in a little more than 400 easily readable pages highlights the major disease entities that comprise this vast discipline. It is sure to be a low-key hit with residents and trainees in internal medicine and cardiology, as well as among other healthcare providers wishing to expand their knowledge of vascular disease. In this convenient pocket form, the book is sure to gain a large following. It will certainly be a welcome and well read adjunct in preparation for the vascular medicine boards. The editors and contributing authors are to be congratulated for compiling such a compelling review of a very broad and still slightly cryptic subject that can so easily fit in one’s laboratory coat or briefcase.