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Fundamentals of Cardiovascular Pharmacology.
  1. L PENNY, Consultant Cardiologist
  1. University of Wales, Cardiff, UK

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    Fundamentals of Cardiovascular Pharmacology. By G D Johnson. (Pp 347; £75 hardback/£34.95 paperback.) John Wiley & Sons, 1999. ISBN0-471-97013-1 hardback/0-471-85471-9. ***

    This textbook of cardiovascular pharmacology uses a novel approach in educating its reader in this field. Pharmacology textbooks all too often concentrate on basic science which, once learnt is all too quickly forgotten and not utilised in the day to day practice of medicine. The author, however, has combined these basic principles with a practical approach to patient management.

    On the whole, this has been successfully achieved although in parts, by necessity, the separation of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic data from clinical decision making leaves the reading of the text a little disjointed.

    As pointed out in the introduction of the book, research and publications within the field of cardiology have provided more evidence to the practice of medicine than any other specialty. While mentioning some of the relevant trials within the text, I would like to have seen at least landmark trials referenced at the conclusion of the appropriate chapter.

    One problem with textbooks published within a rapidly changing field, such as cardiovascular therapeutics, is that they are often outdated at the time of publication. The author should be congratulated on providing an up to date textbook giving helpful and relevant information on some of the more recent developments such as the use of glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptor antagonists and direct antithrombins.

    While not providing a comprehensive review of each aspect of cardiovascular therapeutics, I would recommend this textbook as valuable reading for physicians, cardiologists, and a useful reference source for allied professionals and medical undergraduates.

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