Book review

Br J Cardiol 2014;21:119 Leave a comment
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Heart failure: a practical guide for diagnosis and management

Abedin coverAuthor: Katz S
Publisher: Oxford American Cardiology Library, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-19-991708-2, Price: £22.99

This is a concise handbook on all aspects of heart failure diagnosis and management which any healthcare professional is likely to need. It will easily fit into your work bag and be available for when those inevitable questions arise, based on up-to-date clinical guidelines from the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, Heart Failure Society of America, Canadian Cardiovascular Society and the European Society of Cardiology. However, what Stuart Katz does so effectively is to flesh out the latest evidence in a narrative that can be followed and easily understood.

The book is short and can be read in one dedicated session. The chapters allow the different elements of the clinical management of heart failure to be navigated with ease. Each chapter provides a brief synopsis of the key learning points at the start of the section, allowing even easier access. The chapters provide detailed information, while diagrams and graphs are used frequently to articulate specific points in detail. These graphs are normally quite small and in black and white, two factors which can make them difficult to understand.

Certain points are underplayed and may well have benefitted from a little more information. For example, cardiac resynchronisation therapy is only discussed briefly in two paragraphs and, I thought, might have warranted more detail.

Overall this book is a great companion for those healthcare professionals who are involved in the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure. Its concise nature, well-organised presentation and straightforward narrative provide all the detail of international evidence-based guidelines in a very effective manner. This book will find itself sitting in my on-call bag, for those annoying heart failure questions that pop up when we least expect them.

Christopher James McAloon
ST5 Cardiology
Worcestershire Royal Hospital, Charles Hastings Way, Worcester WR5 1DD