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Cardiopulmonary Imaging FREE TO VIEW

Loren Ketai, MD
Chest. 2004;126(3):1008. doi:10.1378/chest.126.3.1008
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By Ella A. Kazerooni and Barry H. Gross. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2004; 651 pp; $99

I liked this book the moment I met it. I first thumbed through it at the 2003 Radiologic Society of North America meeting, when I pitched the book to the sales representative in a “man bites dog” encounter: “Someone’s finally combined pulmonary and cardiovascular material into a readable text,” I told him. A few months later, I jumped at the chance to review Cardiopulmonary Imaging for CHEST, so that I could check out the text in depth for use by our radiology residents.

Although this book deserves a wider readership, it is nonetheless primarily written for radiology residents. Cardiopulmonary Imaging is authored by two, still young, full professors from the University of Michigan radiology department, with contributions from other members of the thoracic imaging division. Neither an introductory book for students nor an encyclopedic reference for the thoracic radiologist, the text serves rather as an excellent foundation in chest radiology.

Cardiopulmonary Imaging has many attributes to recommend it. Firstly, it is a foundation and not a synopsis. The latter teaches residents to pass oral board examinations; the former teaches them to be good thoracic radiologists. The chapter on the “Radiographic Report” makes this difference clear, giving tips on how to craft a report that informs the clinician but does not clutter the medical record. (Frustrated clinicians may want to share this information with problematic radiologists, should they chance to know any.)

Secondly, unlike many chest radiology texts, Cardiopulmonary Imaging does not limit its description of cardiac disease to a discussion of pulmonary edema. There is one chapter dedicated to imaging of cardiac disease, and a second chapter focused on congenital cardiac conditions. Each chapter might benefit from additional content (for example, more information on benign primary cardiac neoplasms in the former chapter, and on the long-term complications of tetrology repair in the latter). Still, there is more information here than found in most thoracic radiology texts, and examples of both CT and magnetic resonance cardiac imaging are included. The authors further expand their discussion of cardiovascular disease through chapters on aortic disease, the pulmonary vasculature, and thoracic imaging of the critically ill patient.

Lastly, this book is enjoyable. The tone varies from chatty to concise, but is always a good read. The illustrations are of high quality, and images from newer technology, such as the reconstructions from multidetector CT scanners used in the anatomy chapter, are not included for show but to help explain concepts.

Like people, most textbooks have both strengths and weaknesses. In Cardiopulmonary Imaging, the discussion of imaging critically ill patients is excellent, and the topic is augmented by chapters on trauma and “Lines Tubes and Devices.” The two chapters on neoplasms are also excellent, but the cataloging of rare neoplasms may be a bit arcane. The discussion of the diffuse lung disease evaluation with plain radiography is both educational and engaging, and the discussion of high-resolution CT is on target for most clinicians. Senior radiology residents, however, may want to consult other texts that discuss high-resolution CT in more depth. True, a few minor errors are hidden away in Cardiopulmonary Imaging, but finding them in this high quality text is pretty difficult. (I believe, for example, that the authors meant to say that PICC lines are better seen in a left, rather than a right, anterior oblique position.)

I sincerely hope that this book is widely read by pulmonologists, internists, and especially its target audience, radiology residents. Should radiology residents who own Cardiopulmonary Imaging supplement this book by reading some of the references it lists and by consulting other texts? Of course they should. Still, I would be delighted if our residents knew at least this one text cover-to-cover; in that case, they would be darn good thoracic radiologists.




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