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November 5, 1982

The Pericardium

Author Affiliations

University of California San Francisco


by Ralph Shabetai, 432 pp, with illus, $44.50, New York, Grune & Stratton Inc, 1981.

JAMA. 1982;248(17):2170. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330170074041

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


Most physicians knowledgeable in cardiovascular disease would probably agree that Ralph Shabetai, through his teaching and research, is the foremost contemporary contributor to our understanding of pericardial disease. His intent in writing this book seems to have been to share the knowledge and insights gained over a career devoted to this field.

Because Shabetai is a competent writer and because he loves the historical aspects of his subject as much as the current issues, the book is both highly readable and a nearly complete reference source. I had a lot of fun reading it, partly because of the liberal inclusion of historical material. An example can be found in the chapter on constrictive pericarditis, where case reports by Norman Chevers written in 1842 are reprinted. These reports are outstanding examples of the timelessness of keen observation and effective writing. I suspect that most readers will share my enthusiasm for these