March 14, 1980

Complications of Intrathoracic Surgery

Author Affiliations

Evansville, Ind


edited by A. Robert Cordell and Robert G. Ellison, 415 pp, with illus, $38.50, Boston, Little Brown & Co, 1979.

JAMA. 1980;243(10):1084. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300360052034

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Some complications occur mysteriously. And all too often, we explain them unscientifically or blame them on the patient's disease process. This book adds solid weight to more objective insights about such phenomena. It does so by first seeking experimental evidence. In regard to coronary ostial stenosis after aortic valve replacement, for instance, we find that merely controlling perfusion pressure does not prevent the problem. (Experimental arterial distension alone, created by oversized perfusion cannulas, more likely induces these obstructive lesions.) The book then emphasizes preventive measures, reviews the literature, and presents clinical results with various management techniques, including those that have proved unsuccessful.

While previous books have focused on surgical complications, this is the first one to dwell on cardiothoracic surgery. Until now, any such text was doomed to outdate prematurely— largely because the cardiac surgical materials and techniques that created the problems were annually being modified. It has taken this