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Book and Media Reviews
JAMA. 2011;305(6):622-623. doi: 10.1001/jama.2011.114
Heart Failure: Bench to Bedside
By José Marin-Garcia
470 pp, $269
Totowa, NJ, Humana Press, 2010
ISBN-13: 978-1-6076-1146-2
Heart failure is a complex public health problem around the world and is associated with frequent hospitalizations and high mortality. With the marked increase in new information and new mechanical and electrical therapeutic modalities for treatment of heart failure, even the practicing cardiologist can find the latest advances and research overwhelming. Hence, Heart Failure: Bench to Bedside comes at a perfect time: a clear and comprehensive review is desperately needed to lessen the time readers spend searching the Internet or rummaging through massive numbers of clinical trials. This enormous task may seem overwhelming, but the editor has done a brilliant job, presenting a clear and up-to-date approach to the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure as well as skillfully delving into the details of heart failure at the cellular level.
The book is divided into 11 sections, each comprising 1 to 5 chapters. The end of each chapter includes a summary of the important highlights discussed, allowing for quick review when the busy physician is pushed for time. Sections 1 to 5 begin with a well-designed explanation on the role of calcium cycling and gene profiling, followed by in-depth analysis and insight into signaling cascades and cellular changes in heart failure. Section 4 deals exclusively with animal models of heart failure, reminding the reader of the vital importance of animal research in advancing knowledge of heart failure.
Sections 6 to 10 cover a broad spectrum, from heart failure in children to the failing heart in elderly persons, and conclude with gene therapy and myocardial cell–based regeneration. The book concludes with a summary of new technologies such as proteomics and mitochondrial medicine.
In particular, I was impressed with the superb description in chapter 12 of the ramifications of heart failure on the surrounding periphery. Through the use of effective and clearly defined figures complemented by easy-to-read explanations, the author explains how the peripheral vasculature, inflammatory system, and renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system contribute to the progression of heart failure. Despite a valiant effort to describe this complex system, which is involved in the clinical syndrome of chronic heart failure, more work still needs to be done to understand peripheral changes as they relate to heart failure.
Certain areas of the text are quite detailed at the cellular level, but the text still can appeal to any health science student, physician-in-training, practicing physician, and of course, cardiologist. In fact, this text is strongly recommended for cardiologists pursuing additional training in cardiac transplantation and care of advanced heart failure.
The editor of Heart Failure: Bench to Bedside has done an excellent job of completing a challenging task. This book will serve as a useful reference and could become a powerful tool for cardiology board review, especially the heart failure board examinations recently been developed by the American Board of Internal Medicine.
Joseph Sam Owen, MD, ReviewerOchsner Heart and Vascular InstituteNew Orleans, Louisiana josowen@ochsner.org
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: The author has completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest and none were reported. Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: John L. Zeller, MD, PhD, Contributing Editor.
 

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