Although now in its 3rd edition, Dr. Tempe’s comprehensive primer on cardiac anesthesia is actually a new entry into the U.S. market. While not specific to any particular geographical region, the latest version of this text has been revised to include North American standards and guidelines. For the most part, the majority of information presented is relevant to practitioners requiring a broad overview of the field’s introductory material. Students and anesthesia residents should consider this book alongside the more familiar titles of A Practical Approach to Cardiac Anesthesia by D. Martin, F. Hensley, and G. Gravlee and Essentials of Cardiac Anesthesia by J. Kaplan.
Dr. Tempe begins his text with an overview of preoperative assessment, review of anesthetic agents, physiology and monitoring. The text is relatively basic in its coverage of transesophageal echocardiography, but provides an excellent overview of a comprehensive exam and adheres to accepted American Society of Echocardiography and Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists standards. Those new to transesophageal echocardiography will find the still images useful, but a DVD containing video clips is not included. The book then covers anesthetic management of surgical procedures, a section that is well organized by procedure type. The latter parts of the text review cardiopulmonary bypass management, including sections on blood conservation and circulatory support. Dr. Tempe closes with chapters on postoperative management and then discusses management of cardiac patients for noncardiac surgery as well as off-site procedures in the catheterization lab. The last chapter in particular is useful as a template for those providers who are new to cardiac anesthesia practice.
Of the 18 chapters, only 1, “Physiology of the Cardiovascular System,” is not written by Dr. Tempe, which provides a consistent style throughout the book. The prose is clear and concise, while the simple but informative illustrations are beneficial in reinforcing important points. A potential drawback to the book is that some of the medications discussed, such as enflurane, pipecuronium, and enoximone, are not used in the United States. Additionally, some chapters are not organized in the most useful manner for reading the book cover to cover. For example, the chapter on myocardial protection during cardiopulmonary bypass would be more informative if it actually followed the chapter on management of cardiopulmonary bypass. Nevertheless, these are relatively minor issues and should not dissuade trainees from using the book.
Overall, Dr. Tempe’s newest edition of his text is a good introductory guide for providers who are new to the practice of cardiac anesthesiology. It is comprehensive, concise, and well referenced. All in all, Clinical Practice of Cardiac Anaesthesia, 3rd edition accomplishes its goal of presenting updated information to practitioners of general and cardiac anesthesia and is a quality entry into this genre.
Ratna Vadlamudi, MD
Roman M. Sniecinski, MD
Department of Anesthesiology
Emory University School of Medicine