Edited by Majid Maleki, Azin Alizadehasl and Majid Haghjoo
Published by Elsevier February 2021
Price (VitalSource eBook) £73.99
This book which has a strong Iranian contribution is very well written, in clear, concise English and highly relevant to a global audience. The editors and contributing authors have done a superb job of creating an excellent and accessible general cardiology book that is a pleasure to read.
Instead of using a standard paper based book, I used the digital version which was hosted on a new publisher platform; the VitalSource electronic system. It was intuitive to use and I did not need any instructions, I just fired up my browser and off I went. I found the interface easy to navigate and of course the all-important search function was easy to find and use. Put simply, the digital interface was easy to work with and it was very simple to find my way around and search.
The content was easy to read from the screen and there was plenty of it. It was clinically focussed and would be useful to cardiology trainees or anyone working in Internal Medicine. The text was understandable, clear and concise and the whole book was well put together. The illustrations were clear and relevant and this was highlighted in chapter 3 on ECGs. The rhythm strips were easy to read and clear, and good explanations in the text. In fact, the whole chapter is an excellent review of ECG reading and would either make a good introduction or refresher on the subject.
I found the book easy to read from the PC screen as the information is condensed but covers the subject in good and reasonable details. A good example is Chapter 17 which is titled Mechanisms, Diagnosis and Therapy of Cardiac Arrythmia and it covers exactly that. In a deceptively short chapter, a lot of details are embraced, and it should not take a lot of time to read it all. The headings (available from the left side panel when viewing the chapter) are logical and well laid out and this makes it an easy chapter to read.
I also had the app running on an iPad and an iPhone as well. The app is easy to run though the contents of the book has to be downloaded (ideally under WiFi) onto the device. However, it does not take long and having the contents of this book on a mobile device is a very useful and handy tool.
There are plenty of references and some really good figures which are also accessible from the left-hand panel and it is easy to drill down to them. I also liked that the chapters were numerous and yet small enough to easily read. Chapter 35 is another really good chapter on genetics and cardiovascular disease. In particular, it gets to grips with the basic genetics required to understand the cardiology aspects and again the details are condensed and well written but enough data here to make it useful and informative for the average clinician.
I would suspect this book would have a wide audience ranging from medical students to postgraduates and healthcare professionals working in primary care. It has a sensible no nonsense approach and avoids overwhelming the reader with too much data. It lends itself well to a digital only environment whilst it is also available as a traditional book.
The digital version is not cheap but would be a well-used resource for the right user needing a general review cardiology textbook. From that perspective, this book is excellent for this purpose.
Dr Harry Brown