Jerome Liebman, Robert Plonsey and Paul C. Gillette (Editors)
Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins Co., 1982, 354 pp.
This excellent book represents the most complete source of information on electrocardiography in the pediatric age group, from the newborn through adolescence, which has appeared to date. The wide range of expertise of the editors of this book allows them to deal authoritatively and extensively with three major areas: 1) the basic science of electrocardiography; 2) the current state ofthe art in pediatric standard electrocardiography and vectorcardiography; and 3) electrophysiology and arrhythmia. Thus, this book is far more comprehensive than any prior volumes appearing under this same title.
Dr. Liebman, who has had a long-term interest in pediatrics, electrocardiography and vectorcardiography, has concisely and with clarity presented the present body of information available in these areas with frequent reference to the underlying electrophysiologic principles. The chapters on "Statistics Related to Electrocardiographic Interpretation," "Table of Normal Standards," and "The Normal Electrocardiogram" should prove invaluable to all individuals involved in the interpretation of the electrocardiograms of the pediatric patient. Of particular value is the chapter entitled, "Atlas of Electrocardiograms" which allows the reader to apply the principles put forth in the preceding chapters to actual tracings which are in most instances accompanied by vectorcardiographic displays and are also accompanied by pertinent explanations.
Dr. Plonsey, a bioengineer, does a superb job of presenting the biophysical basis for electrocardiography, the principles underlying the development of the various lead systems, and the mechanism of activation of the heart. This is complex and difficult material for thé clinician but it is presented in a much more comprehensible manner than have been encountered to date.
The development of techniques for clinically investigating disorders of cardiac rhythm and conduction by intracardiac electrocardiography has resulted in enormous advances in the diagnosis and treatment of these abnormalities. Dr. Paul Gillette has been one of the pioneers in the development of this knowledge in the field of pediatric cardiology. The chapters by Dr. Gillette and his associate Dr. Arthur Garson provide us with an up-todate view of this area. Dr. Gillette's chapter on "Electrocardiographic Techniques in Investigating Cardiac Dysrhythmia"discusses the methodology, suitability and limitations of the various noninvasive as well as invasive methods of documenting and analyzing rhythm and conduction abnormalities. Dr. Garson's chapter on "A Systematic Interpretation of Cardiac Dysrhythmias" is remarkably well-organized and clearly illustrated and should be most helpful to all those who strive to master the interpretation of complex arrhythmias. Dr. Gillette's excellent chapter on "Intracardiac Electrophysiologic Studies" describes the equipment, techniques, and interpretation of, as well as indications for, these studies and provides us with a much better knowledge of the mechanisms underlying these disorders in the pediatric age group.
This book represents a major contribution to the field of pediatric cardiology and should prove invaluable to those individuals working in pediatric cardiology as well as in electrocardiography. The practicing pediatrician will find this a most useful reference book. It is one that should be made available in all medical libraries because of its suitability for both the medical student and the postgraduate physician.