The study of valvular heart disease has progressed rapidly over the past two decades. The understanding of etiology and natural history, the precision of ninvasive assessment, and the surgical and interventional management of valve disease have all improved dramatically. Coupled with an appreciation of physiologic principles, thoughtful interviews and physical exam, current techlogy allows clinicians to characterize all types of valve lesion. In addition, evolving techniques in interventional cardiology and cardiac surgery, guided by quantitative outcome analysis, have reduced the morbidity and mortality of these procedures. Reflecting all the above and evidence-based medical practice, the authors aim to provide a concise and straightforward guide to the recognition and management of valvular heart disease, complemented by current guidelines and abundant high quality images. It will be a valuable reference for all involved in the care of patients with valvular heart disease, including cardiologists in practice and training, young hospital doctors, general physicians, cardiac nurse specialists, and medical students.
The CBR Institute for Biomedical Research, Boston, MA, USA