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December 27, 1985

Bedside Cardiology

Author Affiliations

Krannert Institute of Cardiology Indianapolis


by Jules Constant, ed 3; 458 pp, with illus, $39.95, Boston, Little Brown & Co Inc, 1985.

JAMA. 1985;254(24):3481-3482. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360240095045

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Among the collected treasures in the museum of the art of medicine, few can match the splendor of the diagnostic pearls strung at the bed-side of the cardiac patient—meticulous clinical observations, carefully validated by correlations with radiology, electrocardiography, pathology, and physiology. Generations of distinguished clinicians have used this material to refine their diagnostic skills. From the clues of history, the undulations of the veins in the neck, and the flick of the stethoscope head from the diaphragm to the bell position, the experts can conjure predictions of the heart size, pressure gradients, shunt flows, and other details of cardiac anatomy, pathology, and physiology, verifiable later by cardiac catheterization or surgery. Such performances arise from the elements of great erudition, rigid self-discipline, and years of apprenticeship.

The author of the comprehensive and authoritative textbook Bedside Cardiology has all these attributes. His book has reached its third edition, and its 18 information-packed