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November 1961

Toward the Diagnosis of Congenital Heart Disease

Arch Intern Med. 1961;108(5):811-812. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620110151034

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This small book apparently was intended to present an outline of congenital heart disease which could be used as an aid in diagnosis. Unfortunately, it has not achieved this end. Information is presented as a list of words and short statements which for the most part are poorly organized, occasionally confusing, and sometimes irrelevant. This book opens with a section on general diagnostic principles. Many of the 136 statements are not objectionable, but some I would consider to be half-truths, or at least misleading. They are not arranged in any logical sequence. Some comments which do not pertain to congenital heart disease in any way have been included. The outlines under specific lesions also suffer from poor organization and intermixing of notes on symptoms, signs, and laboratory findings. A brief section on cardiac arrest has been included; it does not seem appropriate for an outline such as this.

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