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Vol. 62. Issue 8.
Pages 956- (August 2009)
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NOTICE Undefined index: paginaFinal (librerias/utilidadesHtml-cardio.php[88])
Vol. 62. Issue 8.
Pages 956- (August 2009)
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Cardiac pacing, defibrillation and resynchronization
Estimulación cardiaca, desfibrilación y resincronización
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Jesús M. Almendral Garrotea
a Jefe de la Unidad de Electrofisiología Cardiaca y Arritmología Clínica, Grupo Hospital de Madrid, Universidad CEU-San Pablo, Madrid, Spain
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Edited by C. Moro Serrano and A. Hernández Madrid. McGraw-Hill/Interamericana de España, S.A.U., Spain; 2007: 308 pages, 200 figures, and 72 tables. ISBN 84-481-5161-5.

Technology and its improvements are widely used by cardiologists today. However, technology's wide use and its understanding to benefit patients still remain a daily challenge. This has led to the creation of a sub-speciality within cardiology, so that only certain cardiologists habitually handle certain types of technology. However, we all must understand technology up to a certain level and, in particular, cardiologists in training should obtain a basic knowledge about it. These thoughts have a special importance regarding implantable devices. Therefore, it is greatly appreciated when a book provides information about the bases of treatments with implantable devices available to general cardiologists and cardiologists in training. This is the case of the book edited by C. Moro Serrano and A. Hernández Madrid.

This text lies halfway between the treatment of grand theoretical pretensions and a manual purely concerning daily practice. The book presents 30 chapters in 299 pages, each chapter signed by a group of authors, and the contributions from engineers that work for the different companies of the sector stand out. This allows for each chapter to focus on very concrete issues, with a perspective that is never rhetoric, getting to the point of each question considered. Without a doubt, the work of the editors carried out behind the scenes is noticeable in this aspect, who very probably demanded the authors to be concrete in each chapter. The editors' work is also evident in one of the most important aspects of the entire book in my opinion: the great amount of figures as diagrams to clarify doubts, electrocardiograph images, and examples of signals obtained from the devices themselves, all of them especially needed to understand a topic with such technological content. Some of the diagrams could use different colours, but it is likely that the austerity of the black and white was chosen to reduce costs and make the book more affordable.

Regarding the distribution of the content, the largest part of the book is dedicated to anti-bradycardia pacing, the most conventional pace-makers, that make up more than two thirds of the content of the book; the remaining third including content on implantable defibrillators and cardiac resynchronization. However, this asymmetry could even be appreciated, as general cardiologists have undoubtedly a greatest contact with pacemakers, since defibrillators and resynchronization devices are usually handled by specialised units for arrhythmias and heart failure. The 21 chapters dedicated to anti-bradycardia pacing cover from classical unresolved topics such as the physical fundaments of pacing, batteries and sensors, to completely clinical content including the established indications, neurally mediated syncope or the therapeutic ablation of the atrial-ventricular node, and mixed contents such as types of pacing and pacemaker malfunction. The section dedicated to cardiac resynchronization, although smaller, includes superb chapters dedicated to indications, results and follow-up. Other similar chapters, also with indications, results and follow-up, are included in the more limited section dedicated to implantable defibrillators.

Overall, it is a concrete and focused study addressed to pacemakers rather than to other implantable devices, which successfully aims to clarify the bases and use of implantable devices, avoiding technical terms inaccessible for general cardiologists and using abundant diagrams and figures. The lack of publications of this type written in Spanish adds a special interest to this book, which will probably become a useful guide for cardiologists in training and a frequent source of consultation for general cardiologists and arrhythmia implant specialists. It will undoubtedly be very welcomed in our hospitals, outpatient departments and libraries.

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Revista Española de Cardiología (English Edition)

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