The 15th edition of The Heart is a milestone in the publication of this iconic textbook, which has been the lighthouse for every cardiologist since the publication of its first edition in 1966. The first and second editions of The Heart were edited by J. Willis Hurst and R. Bruce Logue. Dr Hurst remained the editor through the 7th edition and in the year 1994, in its 8th edition, it was deservingly named Hurst’s The Heart, paying homage to the inaugural editor of this enduring series. Valentin Fuster took over as Editor-in-Chief for the 10th edition, published in 2000, and has devotedly, and meticulously steered a textbook that is a landmark in the field of cardiovascular medicine nationally and internationally, for all levels of learners from medical students to seasoned cardiologists. It is an honor for the editors and the McGraw Hill publishing team to pay tribute to the legacy of both these giants in cardiology and rename the book Fuster and Hurst’s The Heart.
Much has changed since the publication of the first edition of The Heart. However, advances in science have not changed that caring for the heart is motivated by compassion. Dr Hurst’s final publication before his passing in 2011 was an inspiring reflection on his interactions with trainees from Emory University and how, during one of these encounters, he shared one of the many invaluable teachings of Dr Francis Weld Peabody:
“One of the essential qualities of the physician is interest in humanity, for the secret of care of the patient is in caring for the patient.”
There is a clinical focus throughout the entire 15th edition, with most chapters including sections specifically devoted to commonly encountered scenarios or dilemmas in clinical practice. Content from chapters that had previously been devoted exclusively to imaging or procedural techniques has been assimilated throughout the text to more closely align with corresponding clinical content. Section 2 of the book is devoted entirely to “Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease,” with each of the 11 chapters addressing a single component of the risk factor profile and proven, practical lifestyle changes. A new section on cardiovascular critical care recognizes the expanding role of this field as its own entity in a cardiac population that is sustainable owing to incrementally sophisticated interventions. The final chapter in the book, “Cardiovascular Manifestations of COVID-19,” is, of course, the most-timely treatise on the protean cardiovascular manifestations of SARS-CoV-2 infection, and emerging trends in management and prevention.
Although Fuster and Hurst’s The Heart was curated with focus on the patient, the idea of the lifelong learning was just as much of a cornerstone in creating this new edition. Chapter summaries and Central Illustrations are provided to give the reader a quick but comprehensive overview of what is covered in each chapter, and diagrams, graphs, tables, and algorithms serve to coalesce large amounts of content. Reference lists have been truncated and updated to provide practical reading suggestions. The latest guidelines, across international societies, are incorporated into the text.
Continuing in the tradition of the 14th edition and complementing the print edition, the 15th edition has a prominent online presence, aligned with contemporary needs that rely on multiple digital formats available at the point of care. The online platform allows for timely release of updates of the latest science from meetings of the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, and European Society of Cardiology.
An undertaking like the 15th edition is the combined effort of so many individuals to whom we extend much gratitude. First and foremost, the authors of this edition, many of whom faced challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic or were ill themselves. Authors spanning generations of cardiologists and disciplines and interests, all united by a common thread to maintain the legacy of this landmark textbook more than half a century after its inception. We thank the editors’ families who stood with us, offering their unrelenting support—their spouses Maria Fuster, Navneet Narula, Shobi Rajasekaran, Linda Leon, Melissa Callans, Christina Johnson, and Philip Gould. The 15th edition could simply not have come to fruition without the tireless and undivided devotion of Bryony Mearns and Alexandra Roberts. We especially acknowledge Dr. Ali Zaidi for his devotion and assistance with revamping the section on Congenital Heart Disease. Administrative support from Robinson Santana, Alfred Kemp, Alanur Inal-Veith, and Shondra Rushing was invaluable. We are indebted to our partners at McGraw Hill Professional, particularly Scott Grillo, James Shanahan, Jason Malley, and their associates Karen Edmonson, Andrew Moyer, Tim Hiscock, and Peter Boyle for their immense energy, commitment, and passion.