Book review – The ESC textbook of cardiovascular medicine, 2nd edition

Br J Cardiol 2010; 17:295-97 Leave a comment
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The second edition of the ESC Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine is heralded as “Europe’s definitive print and online guide to the latest in cardiology”. This 2nd edition, a formidable 1,300 pages in 38 chapters, is completely revised and updated since the first edition which appeared in 2005, and it includes new cardiological information in many specific areas, such as pregnancy, choice of imaging techniques, sports medicine and certification, for example. It also has more images and video content, with extensive MCQs, which can be completed to gain EBAC-accredited CME points.

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For healthcare professionals only


Editors: Camm AJ, Luscher TF,
Serruys PW
Pulbisher: Oxford University Press,
Oxford, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-19-956699-0
Price £195

The new edition reflects current European guidelines and the latest evidence-base, which is intended to harmonise the way we practice throughout Europe and beyond. Updated guidance can be found on The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) now represents over 60,000 cardiology professionals across Europe and the Mediterranean. 

The sections on cardiac rhythm management are current, concise and comprehensive. As with all chapters the authors are internationally known. These include, syncope (Michele Brignole, Jean-Jacques Blanc, Richard Sutton, Angel Moya), bradycardia (Panos Vardas, Hercules Mavrakis, William Toff), SVT (Jeronimo Farre, Hein Wellens, Jose Rubio, Juan Benezet), atrial fibrillation (John Camm, Paulus Kirchhof, Gregory Lip, Irina Savelieva, Sabine Ernst), VT and sudden cardiac death (Lars Eckardt, Gunter Breithardt, Stefan Hihnloser). 

In the chapter on syncope one soon becomes fluent with newer abbreviations, T-LOC, transient loss of consciousness; POTS, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, and so forth. Throughout the book there is liberal dipping in to the latest ESC guidelines for various conditions and provision of key algorithms ranging from angina to pulmonary hypertension. The table on recommendations for competitive sport participation in athletes with inherited cardiomyopathies is another example of very useful information distilled from an ESC working group consensus document which one might not ordinarily have seen. 

Newer techniques such as transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) and optical coherence tomographic (OCT) imaging are amply covered. Comprehensive discussion is also given to fractional flow reserve, including also a discussion of pitfalls and limitations, for example poor reliability in the setting of STEMI. 

Clearly there is something for everyone in this definitive textbook. It is not inexpensive. Neither is it bedside reading. It is, however, a ‘tour de force, to which everyone in cardiology, Europe-wide, should either possess or readily have access.