Reviews of Educational Material  |   October 2014
Pharmacology and Physiology for Anesthesia: Foundations and Clinical Applications
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • (Accepted for publication February 26, 2014.)
    (Accepted for publication February 26, 2014.)×
Article Information
Reviews of Educational Material / Pharmacology
Reviews of Educational Material   |   October 2014
Pharmacology and Physiology for Anesthesia: Foundations and Clinical Applications
Anesthesiology 10 2014, Vol.121, 908. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000000237
Anesthesiology 10 2014, Vol.121, 908. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000000237
The field of anesthesiology continues to grow and expand at a rapid rate. To be at the forefront of knowledge in this area and provide outstanding patient care, a solid foundation is required. Superficial facts can be memorized, but a deep understanding of patient physiology will provide the clinician with the tools to make appropriate decisions and interventions when challenging situations present. Pharmacology and Physiology for Anesthesia: Foundations and Clinical Applications presents the broad knowledge required for the anesthesia provider in addition to including appropriate depth in both pharmacology and physiology.
Five sections make up this textbook, starting with Basic Principles of Pharmacology. The material in this section has become increasing critical for the clinician to grasp as the number of drugs administered in the various areas of practice, such as the operating suite, intensive care unit, or pain clinic, continues to increase. Our specialty uses desirable drug interactions in daily practice, taking advantage of desirable drug effects while minimizing adverse effects without much thought. However, we must be vigilant for the increasing possibility of adverse drug interactions or reactions. Pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and pharmacogenetics are clearly described such that those who do not have in-depth training in these fields can understand the daily applications. Sections II (Nervous System) and III (Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Systems) begin by providing basic physiology at the cellular level. This is built on by descriptions of overall system physiology and the pharmacology of relevant medications used in the treatment or manipulation of the physiology of each organ system. Section IV (Gastrointestinal and Endocrine Systems) not only discusses liver, gastrointestinal, and endocrine physiology and pharmacology, but also devotes chapters to the important areas of nutritional and metabolic therapy as well as the challenging issue of postoperative nausea and vomiting. Section V concludes the textbook with discussions on renal physiology and fluid and electrolyte management in addition to the blood transfusion and coagulation management. Although this textbook provides up-to-date information on critical and rapidly changing fields of fluid and electrolyte management, blood transfusion, and coagulation management, the deeper value of this textbook is the foundation that is provided. With such an understanding of the physiology, practitioners will be able to understand and adjust to new practices in these ever-changing areas.
Textbooks provide valuable education for those new to the field and building a foundation on which to learn, provide review for boards and continuing medical education, and act as a reference for the provider to refresh on topics as necessary. This book meets each of these needs well. Not only does it provide an excellent foundation for learners to begin to master the art and science of anesthesiology, but also it is an excellent resource for the practicing clinician to have on the shelf for reference. There is sufficient depth to answer queries while being organized in such a manner that information can be located efficiently. Individuals selected to write chapters are known to excel in the areas they cover, which explains the thorough and cutting edge content. The online feature at provides additional convenient access to the textbook information and beyond. This textbook can easily be recommended to anesthesiology providers at all levels of training.
Erica D. Wittwer, M.D., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota.