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By Gregory Y H Lip. (Pp 68; £14.95.) Royal Society of Medicine Press, 2002. ISBN 1-85315-484-9.
This monograph published by the Royal Society of Medicine is an excellent overview of the most common cardiac arrhythmia, namely atrial fibrillation. This is a very readable book and also enables the busy clinician to scan the text with highlighted boxes relating to the important points. It is up-to-date with discussion on some of the latest treatments of atrial fibrillation with the MAZE operation and newer radiofrequency approaches to the treatment of this disorder. Perhaps it would have been desirable to have seen some of the recent electrophysiological trial results but I am sure this has been delayed in publication.
The role of anticoagulation and antithrombotic approaches in atrial fibrillation is excellently discussed and highlighted with clear didactic guidelines to the practitioner.
The medical management of atrial fibrillation is clearly and concisely discussed and the role of digoxin in taking a “backseat” in this condition is emphasised.
I found this an authoritative, easy to read overview of the condition and would highly recommend it to both cardiologists and general physicians as every practitioner must be exposed to patients with atrial fibrillation. It is slim and flexible so can fit into any pocket to be referred to in a moment or read at any spare instance.
The reviewers have been asked to rate these books in terms of four items: readability, how up to date they are, accuracy and reliability, and value for money, using simple four point scales. From their opinions we have derived an overall “star” rating: * = poor, ** = reasonable, *** = good, **** = excellent.