Edited by Robert M. Savage, M.D., F.A.C.C., Solomon Aronson, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.C.C.P., F.A.H.A., F.A.S.E., and Stanton K. Shernan, M.D. Philadelphia, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2011. Pages: 770. Price: $229.00.

As the foreword indicates, the breadth of the second edition of Comprehensive Textbook of Perioperative Transesophageal Echocardiography  is expansive, aptly mirroring the growth of echocardiography in perioperative medicine. For those of us striving to improve our echocardiography skills and improve patient care, this book will serve as a must-read, must-have reference. To reduce the burden of lugging around a heavy textbook, purchasers of each book gain access to an online version accessible from anywhere! The book covers everything a reader could want in an organized, well-thought-out manner. Filled with vibrant color illustrations and an extensive topic list, the text has a wonderful flow.

Section 1 details the basics of perioperative echocardiography, starting with physics. This often-maligned topic is covered in detail, yet remains easy to read. Comprehensive illustrations help the reader along as the complex physics of echosonography are unwoven. Although the illustrations in this chapter are slightly busy, they appropriately convey the information needed. The text builds nicely on this basic knowledge by correlating the physical principles of ultrasound with real-life image pitfalls and artifacts in chapter 2 and image optimization in chapter 3. A section called Key Points at the end of each chapter succinctly summarizes important concepts. The book transitions smoothly from “machine” to “man” as the subsequent chapters of section 1 outline the anatomy of the heart, transesophageal echocardiography indications, and both the comprehensive and abbreviated transesophageal echocardiography examination before delving deeper into each area of the heart.

Section 2 discusses the use of transesophageal echocardiography and transthoracic echocardiography in the critical care setting. Detailed evaluation of the patient with endocarditis and the use of rescue echocardiography in the intensive care unit are added to this edition as new chapters.

Advanced applications of echocardiography are examined in section 3. From a new chapter on epiaortic imaging to chapters on congenital heart disease, as well as surgical considerations in valve and heart failure surgery, this section builds heavily on the basics. The level of detail and precision shines through as each chapter offers a wealth of information, clinical data, and images to support the echocardiographer through tough clinical scenarios. New chapters on strain echocardiography and three-dimensional echocardiography complete this section. It is a must-read for those working toward advanced certification in transesophageal echocardiography.

With a text version, online version, 3 sections, 39 chapters, more than 60 contributing authors, 770 pages, and thousands of referenced articles, this text truly lives up to its name. It is comprehensive in every sense of the word. Yet, despite such a vast number of contributors and broad scope, it reads in a singular, focused manner. Topic after topic, it builds on the basics before advancing to an expanse of clinical application. I expect its readership will range from beginner to expert. For beginners, it is simple and easy to follow. For those already skilled, it is detailed and comprehensive. It is clearly informative for those seeking transesophageal echocardiography certification and those certified long ago. In short, it is well worth the asking price.

*University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois. jmarymont@northshore.org