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Jornal Vascular Brasileiro

Print version ISSN 1677-5449On-line version ISSN 1677-7301

J. vasc. bras. vol.6 no.1 Porto Alegre Mar. 2007

http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1677-54492007000100017 

BOOK REVIEW

 

Review of the book entitled Guia prático de ultra–sonografia vascular

 

 

Ricardo C. R. Moreira

 

 

Carlos Alberto Engelhorn; Domingos de Moraes Filho; Fanilda Souto Barros;
Nostradamus Coelho (orgs.). Rio de Janeiro: DiLivros; 2007.

Doppler ultrasonography (or Doppler ultrasound or duplex scan) has become the most important method for surgical diagnosis and treatment in most vascular diseases. Doppler ultrasound is currently used in practically all vascular problems, whether venous or arterial. Assessment of varicose veins and diagnosis of venous thrombosis only require Doppler ultrasound. In arterial diseases, arteriography has been replaced by Doppler ultrasound in assessing carotid arteries, peripheral aneurysms and abdominal aorta. Even in arteriography's last stand, which is occlusive disease of the lower limbs, many experienced surgeons base their preoperative decisions and surgical planning on Doppler ultrasound. That is, we, vascular surgeons/angiologists, have become "ultrasound–dependent" in our daily practice.

Whoever follows the evolution of vascular surgery/angiology in Brazil is impressed with the spectacular development of Doppler ultrasonography in our country over the past 15 years. In the beginning, there were only a few enthusiasts from varied areas: some were vascular surgeons/angiologists, others were working in general ultrasonography and some were even cardiologists. What they all had in common was the enthusiasm and disposition to invest time to master this new technique and money to acquire new equipment. The effort of those pioneers resulted in the creation of a new medical specialty in Brazil: vascular ultrasonography. Nowadays, we, vascular surgeons/angiologists, have at our disposal devices and skilled medical practitioners to perform high–quality ultrasonography in practically all medium– and large–sized cities in the country.

A peculiar characteristic of ultrasonography in Brazil is the fact that examinations are always performed by specialized physicians, and not by vascular technologists, as in the USA and Europe. Among us, physicians perform the examination, choose the images, interpret them, write and sign the report. This practice makes Doppler ultrasound examinations performed in Brazil much more focused on the needs of requesting physicians than examinations performed by technicians without clinical experience.

The recently published book Guia prático de ultra–sonografia vascular is a fine example of how far this specialty (or better, field of expertise) has come in Brazil. This book, which was almost entirely written by Brazilian experts, offers a clear and concise approach to the practice of vascular ultrasonography.

It is divided into 19 chapters, large–sized, printed in coated paper and has color illustrations in almost every page. The quality of ultrasonographic images is simply outstanding. The quality of the graphic presentation alone is worth the book.

It does not only have form, but also content. The first chapter provides a clear and concise summary of the physical bases of ultrasonography that even laypeople could understand. The other chapters cover all anatomical and clinical areas of vascular interest, from carotid arteries to venous diseases of lower limbs. Some chapters deal with issues that are not usually covered by texts on ultrasonography, such as assessment of renal transplantations, extrinsic compression of the celiac trunk, thoracic outlet syndrome and pelvic varicose veins. In summary, despite being relatively short, with exact 200 pages, this book fulfills the promise it makes in the title: it is a practical guide for those interested in vascular ultrasonography.

It is worth making a comment about the influence of Dr. Sérgio X. Salles–Cunha on the book authors. Dr. Salles–Cunha, a Brazilian engineer and researcher living in the USA for decades, has always had strong bonds with his home country. He is responsible for the development of devices and technical innovations since the beginning of vascular ultrasonography and can be considered a sort of father figure of vascular ultrasonography in Brazil. All the authors can be considered his intellectual children.

The Guia prático de ultra–sonografia vascular represents, for the Brazilian vascular community, the consolidation of a unique form of performing vascular ultrasonography. This book is doubtlessly very useful to those who perform or use Doppler ultrasound examinations in their daily practice, from residents to veterans.

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