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August 2, 1971

The Pericardium and Its Disorders

Author Affiliations

American Medical Association Chicago


edited by Felix M. Cortes, 298 pp, with illus, $15.50, Springfield, Ill: Charles C Thomas, Publisher, 1971.

JAMA. 1971;217(5):701. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03190050157031

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


Twenty-one authors have contributed to this monograph.

Apparently, to be successful, a monograph must be polycrafted. The crafting is commendable. The beginning chapter gives a historic view of pericardial disorders from the times of Galen, who first noted the heart's vestment and gave it its name, to the mid 20th century. Five chapters on functional anatomy, clinical features, graphic and radiologic diagnostic techniques, and basic physiology provide a background for individual disease presentations which command the larger part of the book.

Despite good organization, the book displays some unevenness and overlap—the latter embarrassingly conspicuous in chapters 6 and 12 which deals with hemodynamics. Pulsus paradoxus, which is given repeated prominence in the text, is paradoxically nowhere to be found in the references. Graphic illustrations which abound in the overlong discussion of animal experiments (chap 3) are scarce or absent when needed for visualizing the frequently referred to pulse and pressure