This is an ambitious book that attempts to be a "unique review of present progress in mechanically assisted circulation" and lists an impressive array of authors from all over the world who are pioneers in this field. As such, it is a collection of widely diverse articles about a variety of cardiac-assist devices approached from many viewpoints.
The book starts with delightful historical accounts of cardiac assist devices by Harken, Kolff, and Unger. Kolff and Kung raise the moralistic and philosophical problems of prolonged cardiac assistance or cardiac replacement. The body of the text begins with a discussion of various counterpulsation devices: the widely used intra-aortic balloon pump, a short discussion of in-line pulsatile assist devices during cardiopulmonary bypass, and the use of external counterpulsation devices during transport and postinfarct shock. Criteria for use of each are discussed and over-all results are discussed in a general way. For the clinician,