( By Dr. Natoobhai J.Shah & Dr. Sailesh N. Shah )

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Since the historic observation by William Withering more than 200 years ago that digitalis could improve cardiac function and passage of a catheter by Werner Forssmann in 1929 into the heart of a living person ( himself), the field of cardiovascular medicine remains ever evolving and increasingly exciting. New investigative tools and therapeutic options are now available . Coronary artery bypass surgery and valve replacement have become routine surgical procedures throughout the globe. New "miracle" drugs, thrombolytics, balloons, stents, lasers, assist devices, pace makers and heart transplants have become common place. Many of these technologically advanced procedures have truly benefited our patients and are here to stay, while some others are just passing : fads " and "half-truths."

The authors of this new and timely book have made every effort to integrate these new scientific data with practical experiences as astute clinicians. We should be grateful to them as they objectively and critically, analyze current available information ( which at times could be confusing and conflicting), and smartly present to the readers their balanced points of views. This indeed is the heart of the matter.

As you read through the pages of this excellent book, you will be impressed as I was with the compassionate and caring approach to the management of the cardiac patient that has always been Dr. Natoobhai Shah’s unique characteristics over the years. His emphasis on prevention of diseases exemplary , and his analysis of the unpredictability of prognosis of coronary patients is mastery. Additionally, Dr. Sailesh Shah’s scholarly and meticulous review of new information in the field of interventional cardiac techniques is commendable. He has expertly covered the breadth and depth of this rapidly expanding discipline, and provided the readers with useful start- of-the-art information.

Health is greatest of all human blessings. As we begin to understand the basic knowledge of heart function in health and in disease, this handbook would serve as a valued companion to all those who seek to promote and preserve cardiovascular health. Dr. Natoobhai Shah and DR. Sailesh Shah are to be congratulated on a stellar accomplishment providing clinically relevant wealth of information in a clear and concise format. Both the well informed and the casual reader will be abundantly rewarded with new knowledge, new insights and new understanding. This vital information should translate into intelligent decision-making and better out comes as we take care of our merry hearts, and live longer and hopefully better lives.

Gopal G. Lalmalani, M.D., FACC, FCCP
Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Chicago,
Pritzker School of Medicine
Past President, American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin
Chicago, Illinois (USA).

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