Br J Cardiol 2008;15:73-4 Leave a comment
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Echocardiography: Oxford specialist handbook in cardiology is an invaluable tool in the diagnosis and management of patients with cardiac disease. This new Oxford Handbook is for everyone, cardiologists and cardiac physiologists alike, involved in the direct care of cardiology patients.

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Echocardiography: Oxford specialist handbook in cardiology

Authors: Leeson P, Mitchell ARJ, Becher H
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-19-921575-1
Price: £34.95

Echocardiography: a practical guide for reporting

Authors: Rimington H, John Chambers
Publisher: Taylor & Francis, London, 2007

ISBN: 9781841846347
Price: £55

The initial chapter provides helpful information on the physics of ultrasound, as well as incorporating practical details on recent techniques such as Doppler tissue imaging, strain and strain rate, and real-time three-dimensional image acquisition that have become an invaluable aspect to the practice of echocardiography. There is a useful chapter on image acquisition, and a concise review of common echocardiological issues, such as assessment of left ventricular systolic and diastolic function, valvular disease, pericardial disease, and simple congenital heart disease to name but a few. Particularly valuable chapters are provided on transoesophageal echo (TOE) and stress echo, which go beyond merely explanations of the two techniques, but which provide detailed practical and technical hints.

Written by a group of cardiologists with many years of experience, it gives an easy to follow and evidence-based set of steps to help the user through various echo scenarios. Diagrams and ‘real-life’ images are used extensively throughout the book, and key information, such as what not to miss, severity of valvular lesions, differential diagnoses, are highlighted in eye-catching boxes. The highly readable chapters will help everybody in the care of cardiology patients.

The shorter, but highly informative and decidedly practical book, Echocardiography: a practical guide for reporting, is a follow-on to the previously extremely successful book by Rimington and Chambers. Much useful information is retained, and there are excellent no-nonsense chapters on assessment of left ventricular systolic function, reporting myocardial function, and pericardial disease. Chapters on valve disease have been summarised, whilst losing none of the important information covered in the first edition. New areas are comprehensively incorporated, including cardiac resynchronisation therapy, left ventricular hypertrophy, differentiation of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and the athletic heart, and Doppler tissue imaging. There are also helpful examples of echo reports for patients with simple and complex congenital heart disease, and extremely useful focussed lists for echocardiography in the acutely sick patient (covering common intensive care scenarios).

The book is presented in a straight-forward and informal style, with eye-catching tables and diagrams, that will assist the practising echocardiographer or physician in providing a comprehensive echo report for the cardiac patient. Between them, the authors have a large cumulative wealth of echocardiographic experience, both clinically and in terms of British Society of Echocardiography (BSE) accreditation, and this is reflected in the incorporation of up-to-date BSE guidelines for echo reports, stress echo, and TOE. This echo book will not only provide an excellent aide-memoir for the experienced echocardiographer or physician, but will prove invaluable for those preparing for BSE accreditation.