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book review
M Blankesteijn and R Altara eds
Academic Press  
ISBN/ 9780128000397

The present book offers detailed and up-to-date information about the role, the causes, the symptoms, the progression and the treatment of inflammation processes in heart failure, given by a combination of experts in the field that provide accurate and comprehensive overviews of their research areas.

The book is divided in 3 sections and 14 chapters, all adequately introduced and contextualized.

Section 1 provides a thorough overview of the role of inflammation in heart failure. Interestingly, the authors highlight the need of better understanding the different causes and the different local/systemic pathophysiological processes that lead to this syndrome, in order to identify specific treatments. Of note, the last chapter of the section is focused on the description and analysis of different animal models of heart failure.

Section 2 is focused on inflammatory mediators as biomarkers of heart failure. After an in-depth review and classification of these biomarkers (Chapter 7), the book presents a very interesting technical chapter that describes the analytical techniques currently available for their measurement, and finally discusses the potential of imaging techniques as powerful diagnostic tools, well-identifying the most promising molecular imaging targets.

Finally, in Section 3, different possible clinical strategies to target inflammatory response, to control it, and exploit it, for therapeutic purposes, are discussed, with particular attention to clinical evidences, clinical trials, and future perspectives.

Overall, the book is mainly addressed to a readership of researchers in the cardiovascular field and cardiologists, with a strong biology and physiology background. The addition of some more schematic and intuitive representations/diagrams of the complex pathophysiological pathways and processes might have been useful for a broader audience of readers. The book could be of interest for researchers in the field of cardiovascular biomaterials who want to thoroughly understand the process of inflammation, also occurring upon implantation of biomaterials/devices, and the possible strategies to monitor, control, and study it.

October, 2015
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