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Noninvasive Electrocardiography in Clinical Practice FREE TO VIEW

Fred M. Kusumoto, MD
Chest. 2002;121(4):1383. doi:10.1378/chest.121.4.1383
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Wojciech Zareba, Pierre Maison-Blanche, and Emanuela H. Locati, eds. Armonk, NY: Futura Publishing Company, 2001; 504 pp; $98.00

Although Waller and Einthoven described measurement of cardiac electrical activity from the body surface > 100 years ago, this excellent text illustrates that the field of electrocardiography continues to expand as a fruitful area of research. Noninvasive Electrocardiography in Clinical Practice is a multiauthored effort encompassing 25 chapters that summarize the most recent research in the use of ECG recording. The chapters are concise (approximately 15 pages), comprehensive, and easily read.

The book is broadly divided into two sections. In the first section, the methods and techniques for ECG recording are discussed. Topics range from commonly used tests such as Holter monitoring and tilt-table testing to less familiar but potentially very useful tools, such as heart rate variability, baroreflex sensitivity, and T-wave alternans. This range of topics will not appeal to all readers. For example, clinical cardiologists would find the chapters on ST-segment analysis during exercise and ambulatory ECG recording very informative, but chapters such as P-wave signal averaging and heart rate turbulence would be of more interest to the electrophysiologist. As such, I found the four chapters on autonomic effects on heart rate variability and baroreflex sensitivity especially enjoyable. However, discussion of body surface mapping was omitted and would have been a useful addition to this section.

The second section emphasizes the use of ECG monitoring in specific clinical situations, such as the patient with syncope, hypertension, or coronary artery disease. These chapters provide useful guidelines for the appropriate use of ECG testing and are particularly useful to the clinical cardiologist. There is some overlap of material; for example, the chapters on ECG monitoring for postmyocardial infarction risk stratification and coronary artery disease provide similar information. However, for the most part, the editors have done an excellent job in assembling a series of summaries that provide up-to-date information regarding the use of ECG monitoring in particular patients.

In summary, Zareba, Maison-Blanche, and Locati are to be congratulated for this superb introduction to the current and potential future uses of ECG recording. This book fills an important void and would be a wonderful addition to the library of any cardiologist.




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