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Management of Cardiac Arrhythmias (Contemporary Cardiology)

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During the past decade there have been enormous advances in the management of patients with cardiac arrhythmias. Catheter ablation has become a first-line therapy for a growing number of supraventricular tachyarrhythmias and idiopathic ventricular tachycardia. Frequently performed on an outpatient basis, radiofrequency catheter ablation actually cures the majority of patients with these disorders, restoring a normal quality of life.

Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) have progressed from a therapy of last resort at the time of FDA approval in 1985, to the preferred therapy in the majority of patients with life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias. ICD implantation, once a morbid cardiothoracic surgical procedure, is now similar to pacemaker implantation. Advances in pacemaker technology have restored normal physiology to many patients; current trials focus on the utility of multisite atrial pacing to prevent atrial fibrillation and biventricular pacing (cardiac resynchronization) in patients with advanced congestive heart failure. For patients with syncope, new diagnostic approaches such as the implantable loop recorder, as well as new therapies, offer improved outcomes.

New nonpharmacologic therapies have been developed for virtually every type of cardiac arrhythmia. Previously the mainstay of therapy for arrhythmia patients, pharmacologic therapies have assumed an adjunctive rather than primary role in many patients. This paradigm shift, from pharmacologic to nonpharmacologic therapies, the proliferation of the types of devices and procedures available, as well as the growing number of patients who may benefit, require that cardiac electrophysiologists keep their colleagues in general cardiology, cardiac surgery, and primary care updated. The purpose of this fine text is to help inform these physicians and surgeons about recent advances in the diagnosis and management of patients with cardiac arrhythmias, and to describe how electrophysiologists can best assist in the care of their patients. Written by leaders in the field of cardiac electrophysiology, and well edited by Leonard I. Ganz, Management of Cardiac Arrhythmias provides lucid descriptions of diagnostic and therapeutic strategies in patients with heart rhythm disturbances. Tables, figures, and treatment algorithms are used extensively to make this book a practical clinical guide as well as an excellent reference source. This book will prove to be of enormous value both to specialists and generalists responsible for the care of patients with cardiac arrhythmias.
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