Book Review – Cardioprotection

Br J Cardiol 2010;17:152 Leave a comment
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For more than 30 years, the term ‘cardioprotection’ has been applied widely and often without precision to sundry interventions that reduce the incidence and severity of cardiovascular disease. For those of us who spend time occluding and reperfusing coronary arteries to model experimentally the effects of coronary thrombosis, ‘cardioprotection’ has a precise (and arguably the definitive) meaning; i.e. cardioprotection is the limitation or prevention of irreversible cellular injury in heart muscle as a consequence of ischaemia and reperfusion. In this little book, this definition is applied and is extended to consider all aspects of the medical management of acute myocardial infarction. This is a highly successful and justified approach that will maximise the appeal and utility of this text to a wide clinical and scientific audience. Barely 120 pages of text, nevertheless the book provides an up-to-date and remarkably comprehensive series of essays that convey an accurate snapshot of the basic and clinical science relevant to the rational treatment of myocardial infarction.

152-img2Editors: Hausenloy DJ, Yellon DM
Publisher: Oxford University Press,
Oxford, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-19-954476-9 Price: £5.99

The editors and contributing authors are distinguished experts in experimental and clinical aspects of acute coronary syndromes. In eleven commendably succinct chapters, the authors provide coverage of the essential information, from the fundamental concepts of cellular pathophysiology and molecular physiology, to their clinical application in the management of acute myocardial infarction. Each chapter is furnished with key references that provide ideal preliminary bibliographies for those unfamiliar with the field. As I indicated, the coverage is very comprehensive. The chapters provide information on basic definitions and descriptions of the pathological features of myocardial infarction; the current status of reperfusion therapies and adjunctive treatments, including antiplatelet and anticoagulant therapies; approaches to myocardial imaging; the longer term management of cardiac remodelling and dysfunction in survivors of myocardial infarction; emerging and experimental therapeutics, including the phenomenon called ‘postconditioning’, and reparative and regenerative therapies based on stem cell delivery.

At £5.99, this book represents excellent value for money. Its appeal should be wide and I would commend Cardioprotection to anyone with an interest, experimental or clinical, in the scientific and medical challenge of myocardial infarction. The obvious audience will include clinical cardiologists and cardiologists in training who require brief but authoritative information on the evidence underpinning practice. But basic scientists and clinicians embarking on research in cardioprotection will also find the book to be a highly accessible starting point. As an indication of the strength of my recommendation, I should add that I have bought multiple copies to present to new postgraduate students and research fellows as essential reading. So far, they have expressed their delight with my present.