Hurst's The Heart - 11/e Digital Edition, by Valentin Fuster, ISBN-10: 0071462325

Reviewed by: Dr. Angelica Fargas-Babjak MD, FRCPC, CAFCI Nov. 2005
Published by: McGraw-Hill Professional
Requires: N/A
MSRP: US$199.00

World-renowned cardiologist Valentin Fuster has spearheaded an ambitious revision of "Hurst’s The Heart". Whether the topic is coronary bypass surgery, angina, or advances in minimally invasive treatment, you'll find the latest therapeutic strategies and supporting, evidence-based data, all presented by a preeminent international group of thought leaders. This 11th edition is one of the most comprehensive, time-tested and up-to-date medical information texts, now with digital online access and downloads for handheld devices and PDA/Smartphones on heart and cardiovascular function, dysfunction and disease.

Dr. Hurst originally described the circumstances, goals and aspirations of the first edition (1966) which was unique for the time as a multi-authored book. We can only admire and appreciate the dedication, perseverance, tenacity and hard work required in 1962 when he first contemplated writing the book. The great value of the first edition was proved by translations that followed into French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese and Greek editions. Fast-forward to 2005 and the book has at least quintupled in size and offers a robust online component. Online access is simple and works well even in the hands of a less skilled operator. It gives outstanding search and retrieval capabilities and quick links to valuable online resources.

The editors and the outstanding group of contributing authors who participated in this 11th edition have to be commended for their extraordinary and timely contributions. In this edition, ten new chapters have been added, including:

  • Exciting new developments concerning the human genome and genetic basis for many cardiovascular diseases, “high and low” risks and predispositions for coronary and non-coronary atherosclerotic disease and plaque characterization.
  • New evolving imaging technology for assessment of coronary and non-coronary atherosclerotic disease.
  • The most recent advances in the pathology and the treatment of pulmonary hypertension and heart failure.
  • Many major advances in interventional cardiology are also discussed in detail.

Forty percent of chapters which were in the previous edition, were modified extensively to refocus on the new therapeutic challenges and socio-economic issues affecting medicine in general, and cardiovascular medicine in particular. In this edition, discussions of alternative and complementary medicine are a welcome extension of traditional practice. Included as well is behavioral modification as the basis of risk factor modification approach. The emphasis through the text as well as a special chapter concerning the use of ACC/AHA Clinical Practice Guidelines are clearly identified.

This 11th edition has 108 chapters and are all updated on an ongoing basis on the web site. Updates includes such things as late-breaking data and information about clinical trials. The book and its continually evolving web site will keep you abreast of the latest developments in cardiovascular medicine.

The only disadvantage in the printed book is its enormous size (2,400 pages). But as Dr. Hurst described in his Foreword, “When the first edition was created in the early 60s, there were only a few drugs and only a few procedures to consider. A consensus of opinion regarding their use was easy to achieve.” With the explosion of available information generated by extensive research over the last few decades, as well as improved multimedia communication exchange and technological advances, we cannot be surprised by a volume of this size. The quality of writing, print quality and the illustrations are first class—just what we've come to expect from McGraw-Hill Medical Publishing.

The 11th edition of "Hurst’s The Heart" digital edition is a book and online digital access reference that must be included in the library and/or department of medical cardiology or in the library of a competent, cardiovascular consultant, resident or intern. Highly recommended.

(Ed. Note: The Lead Author of this edition is Valentin Fuster MD, Director of the Zena and Michael A. Wiener Cardiovascular Institute at Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, NY. The rest of the writing team consists of R. Wayne Alexander MD, Chair, Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine Atlanta, GA; Robert A. O’Rourke MD, Charles Conrad Brown Distinguished Professor in Cardiovascular Disease, University of Texas Health Sciences Center San Antonio, TX; Robert Roberts MD, Executive Director, Baylor Cardiac Institute, Baylor College of Medicine, Dept. of Medicine, Section of Cardiology Houston, TX; Spencer B. King III MD, Director, Interventional Cardiology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA; Eric N. Prystowsky MD, Director, Clinical Electrophysiology Laboratory, St. Vincent Hospital Indianapolis, Indiana, Consulting Professor of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina; and Ira Nash MD, Associate Director, The Zena and Michael A. Wiener Cardiovascular Institute, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine)

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