Edited by J. S. Gravenstein, M.D., Michael B. Jaffe, Ph.D., Nikolaus Gravenstein, M.D., David A. Paulus, M.D. New York, Cambridge University Press, 2011. Pages: 474. ISBN: 978-0-521-514781. Price: $150.00.

Measurement of the partial pressure of expiratory carbon dioxide has evolved as an important physiologic and safety metric. The continuous evaluation of the adequacy of ventilation by capnography is a standard for basic anesthetic monitoring (Committee of Origin: Standards and Practice Parameters, approved by the American Society of Anesthesiologists House of Delegates on October 21, 1986, and last amended on October 20, 2010, with an effective date of July 1, 2011). In recent years, recognition of the role of capnography for both operative and nonoperative applications has expanded tremendously. Acknowledging this evolution, the authors of the second edition of Capnography  have significantly and successfully updated and added to the canon of knowledge and our understanding of carbon dioxide physiology and monitoring, as well as their use in newer, emerging applications. This book combines the knowledge of numerous experts across multiple and diverse medical specialties, including biomedical engineering and veterinary science.

Although succinct, each chapter in this new edition is lucid and comprehensive. The textbook is organized into six broad sections and is structured in a logical sequence, targeted to answer questions arising from not only the medical specialties of anesthesiology and critical care medicine but also emergency medicine and emergency medical services, sleep and neurologic sciences, and medical disciplines exploiting biofeedback behavioral treatment therapies. Although it is considered customary to include historical chapters at the beginning of a textbook, the authors have intentionally concentrated initially on the clinical utility of capnography after an excellent introductory chapter on clinical perspectives.

The utility of capnography depends on an understanding of the relationship between arterial carbon dioxide, alveolar carbon dioxide, and end-tidal carbon dioxide, especially in numerous clinical scenarios, some of which, such as a pulmonary embolism, are life threatening. In sections two and four, the authors have successfully provided a better understanding of the above relationship by clarifying key concepts in carbon dioxide physiology in association with capnography. The technical section is well written and appears equally important in complementing a thorough understanding of capnography.

Appropriate illustrations and tables have been exploited throughout the textbook to the authors' advantage to emphasize the relevance of capnography, as well as make the case for its growing need. The book is well indexed, with a useful appendix on capnogram patterns that are of substantial diagnostic value.

Capnography is essential to confirming the appropriate placement of endotracheal tubes and supralaryngeal devices in the operative and the out-of-hospital settings. In addition, during lifesaving cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the generation of adequate circulation can be assessed by the detection or restoration of carbon dioxide waveform. These are a few of the prime examples of daily clinical scenarios described in this textbook that necessitate a thorough understanding of capnography.

This new edition on capnography reaffirms the status that the first edition enjoyed of being a “gold standard” on the subject of capnography in multiple roles, as a standard reading tool, a reference source, and a teaching aid to enhance the clinical application of capnography. This textbook will continue to remain an exceptionally valuable and comprehensive resource as long as capnography remains an indispensable tool for end-tidal carbon dioxide monitoring.