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Color Atlas of Local and Systemic Signs of Cardiovascular Disease
Franklin B. Saksena, MD. 122 pages. Malden (Mass): Blackwell Futura; 2008. US $79.95. ISBN: 13:978-1-4051-5976-0. Available from: Blackwell Publishing, Inc., 350 Main St., Malden, MA 02148-5020 and from Amazon.com.
Field of Medicine: Cardiovascular.
Format: Softcover book. Trim size: 7 × 10 inches.
Recommended Readership: Cardiologists, internists, and all others who wish to become better at spotting local and systemic signs of cardiovascular disease.
Purpose: To help the novice develop—and the veteran refresh—visual skills that can spare the patient unnecessary or inappropriate testing and bring the physician one step closer to an accurate diagnosis.
Content: 102 pages of text containing 10 chapters, 202 photographs, an appendix of rarer syndromes associated with cardiovascular disease, and a synopsis.
After an opening chapter on general observations, the remaining chapters focus consecutively on signs in the face, ear, mouth and nose, neck, hand, upper extremity, thorax and back, abdomen, and lower extremity. Each of these chapters begins with a brief discussion of various signs that may appear in the indicated part of the body, followed by representative images of some of those signs, arranged 2 to 4 per page.
Also offered are a bit about the author (an award-winning senior cardiologist in Chicago), a short preface, a detailed list of photographic credits, an acknowledgment page, 236 references, and a comprehensive index.
Strengths: Well-organized, well-referenced, and comprehensive coverage of the subject matter makes this atlas worth the sales price. The author's passion for physical diagnosis is also praiseworthy, especially these days, when technology dominates the medical scene.
Weaknesses: The images vary markedly in quality, perhaps because more than half of them are reprinted from other publications. Additional drawbacks include scattered misspellings, occasional punctuation errors, rare grammatical mistakes, and several misleading or conflicting scientific statements.
Overall Grade: ***
Grading Key ***** = outstanding; **** = excellent; *** = good; ** = fair; *= poor