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Logo of thijTexas Heart Institute JournalSee also Cardiovascular Diseases Journal in PMCSubscribeSubmissionsTHI Journal Website
Tex Heart Inst J. 2010; 37(3): 382.
PMCID: PMC2879199

Review of Carpentier's Reconstructive Valve Surgery

From Valve Analysis to Valve Reconstruction
Reviewed by Denton A. Cooley, MD

Carpentier's Reconstructive Valve Surgery: From Valve Analysis to Valve Reconstruction

Alain Carpentier, MD, PhD, David H. Adams, MD, and Farzan Filsoufi, MD. 368 pages, more than 200 detailed anatomic drawings. Philadelphia: Saunders; 2010. US $199. ISBN: 978–0721691688. Available from: Elsevier, Health Sciences Division, 1600 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Suite 1800, Philadelphia, PA 19103–2899, USA.

Field of Medicine: Cardiac surgery.

Format: Hardcover book. Trim size: 11.1 × 8.8 inches.

Recommended Readership: Cardiac surgeons, cardiac surgery trainees, cardiologists, cardiac pathologists, and anesthesiologists.

Purpose: The purpose of this book is to present step-by-step instructions for performing each of the reconstructive valve operations pioneered by Dr. Alain Carpentier at Hôpital Broussais, in Paris.

Content: In 1968, Dr. Carpentier established a new era in heart valve surgery when he introduced the concept of annular remodeling with prosthetic rings. He later broadened this concept in an effort to treat all types of valve lesions. In this volume, he has joined 2 American colleagues, Drs. David H. Adams and Farzan Filsoufi, in describing a broad compilation of valve disorders and techniques for their repair. The book includes 40 chapters that are divided into 6 sections. After an initial section that describes the fundamentals of valve analysis and surgical management, the authors devote separate sections to the mitral, tricuspid, and aortic valves. The 5th section presents a disease-specific approach to valvular disease. The short final section, titled “Transfer of Knowledge,” contains a single chapter called “Reconstructive Valve Surgery Made Simple,” which focuses on the conditions necessary for acquiring expertise in valve repair surgery and for developing a program in this field. The text is accompanied by references, a glossary of French surgical terms, and an index. In addition, the book includes more than 200 anatomic drawings, as well as numerous pathology photos, diagnostic images, and tables.

Strengths: The entire text is elegantly written, with step-by-step directions for performing a wide range of repair procedures. The drawings, based on sketches made by Dr. Carpentier, are extensive and strikingly clear. The artist, Marcia Williams, is to be congratulated for her superb contribution. Another helpful feature is that the material is organized both by valve-specific and disease-specific approaches, so that the reader can easily locate topics of interest. In addition, the book is enhanced by discussions between Dr. Carpentier and his coauthors at the end of each chapter. Presented in a conversational style, these discussions focus on the nuances of each technique, practical challenges encountered in the operating room, and alternative techniques devised by other surgeons.

Weaknesses: Although valve reconstruction has long been the gold standard for the surgical treatment of valvular heart disease, the authors may seem to imply that all cases of valve dysfunction are correctable. Only a few brief paragraphs, mainly in the final chapter, broach the subject of valve replacement, and these paragraphs could easily be missed. The book might benefit from a fuller discussion of valve replacement versus repair. In addition, the figures are not accompanied by legends, so readers must search the text to find the relevant descriptions; it would be helpful if the figure numbers were in bold type, so that they stood out from the rest of the text. However, these are relatively minor weaknesses that do not detract from the overall excellent quality of this book.

Overall Grade: *****


Grading Key ***** = outstanding; **** = excellent; *** = good; ** = fair; * = poor

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