Exam Study Tips


This section of the Website contains useful material developed by trainees that can serve as studying and reference tools to help you prepare for the Royal College Adult Cardiology examinations. The information provided are summaries from popular adult cardiology textbooks as well as from the CCS, ACC/AHA and ESC guidelines in addition to interesting recent review articles published in cardiology journals. A table of contents is provided as a guide to the different topics to review prior to the exams.
This section will be regularly updated as summaries become available.  If you would like to share your study tips and summaries or would like to send a notification or comment about the summaries posted here, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Table of Contents Summaries by topics

  • The basics

    - History and physical Exam

  • Noninvasive and invasive diagnostic testing modalities

    - Treadmill test

    - Nuclear medicine

    - Cardiac CT

    - MRI

    - Transthoracic echocardiography

    - Coronary angiography

    - Basics

    - Formulas: cardiac output (Fick), mitral valve area, aortic valve area, pulmonary resistance, systemic resistance

  • Heart failure

    - Pathophysiology

    - HF with low ejection fraction (HFLEF)

    - HF with preserved ejection fraction (HFPEF)

    - Devices

    - CRT, mitral-clip, VAD

    - Mechanical support (temporary and permanent)

    - VAD

    - ECMO

    Heart transplantation

    - Inclusion criteria

    - Work-up

    - Immunosuppression

  • Cardiomyopathy

    - Cardiomyopathy

    - Dilated

    - Hemochromatosis

    - Familial

    - Hypertrophic

    - Restrictive

    - Fabry

    - Sarcoidosis

    - ARV/C

    - Amyloidosis

    - Endomyocardial fibrosis

  • Coronary artery disease

    - Stable angina

    - Unstable angina

    - NSTEMI

    - STEMI

    - Complications of an ACS

    - Mechanical support

    - Pharmacological treatment

  • Congenital diseases

    - Atrial septal defect (ASD)

    - Ventricular septal defect (VSD)

    - Atrioventricular septal defects (AVSD)

    - Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA)

    - Bicuspid aortic valve

    - Coarctation of the aorta

    - LVOT obstructions

    - Ebstein’s anomaly

    - Tetralogy of Fallot

    - RVOT obstructions

    - Transposition of great arteries (TGA)

    - Congenitally corrected transposition of great arteries (CCTA)

    - Eisenmenger’s syndrome

    - Single ventricle

    - Palliative shunts

    - Blalock-Taussig

    - Pott and Waterston

    - Glenn

    - Fontan operation

    - Antibiotic prophylaxis

  • Prevention

    - Hypertension

    - Dyslipidemia

    - Smoking cessation

  • Pulmonary hypertension

  • Pregnancy and cardiomyopathy

    Valvular disease – native and prosthetic valves

    - Congenital disease

    - Anticoagulation

    - Teratogenicity

  • Pericardial disease

    - Acute pericarditis

    - Pericardial effusion

    - Constrictive pericarditis

    - Tamponade

  • Arrhythmia

    - Supraventricular arrhythmias

    - Ventricular arrhythmias

    - Syncope

    - Devices – ICD, pacemaker, CRT

    - Antiarrhythmic drugs

  • Vascular disease

    - Thoracic aortic disease

    - Marfan syndrome

    - Ehlers-Danlos

    - Loeys-Dietz

    - Turner syndrome

    - Peripheral arterial disease

  • Cardiac tumors

  • Pharmacology

    - Anticoagulation

    - Antiplatelet therapy

    - Chemotherapy and cardiotoxicity

    - Inotropes and vasopressors

  • Cases & examples

    - ECG’s

    - Holters

    - Echocardiography

    - Hemodynamics

    - Angiographic cases

    - Pressure curves

    - Nuclear medicine

    - Guidelines

    - CCS

    - ACC/AHA

    - ESC

Useful websites references

http://www.learntheheart.com - general review

http://www.achd-library.com - congenital diseases

http://ecg.bidmc.harvard.edu/maven/mavenmain.asp - ECG

Book references

  • General cardiology

    Robert O. Bonow et al. Braunwald’s Heart Disease Cardiology. 9th edition, Elsevier Saunders, 2012.

    Brian Griffin et al. Cleveland Clinic Board Review. 2nd edition, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2013.

    Michael A. Chizner. Clinical cardiology made ridiculously simple. 3rd edition, Medmaster Inc. 2010.

    Jules Constant. Essentials of bedside cardiology. 2nd edition, Humana press, 2003.

    Mayo cardiovascular review course for cardiology boards and recertification (DVD).

  • Electrophysiology

    Bory Surawicz and Timothy K. . 6th edition, Saunders Elsevier, 2008.

    Serge Barold et al. Cardiac pacemakers and resynchronization step-by-step. 2nd edition, Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.

    Hein J. Wellens and Mary Conover. The ECG in emergency decision-making

    . 2nd edition, Saunders Elsevier, 2006.

    Miguel A. Barrero Garcia, Paul Khairy, Laurent Macle and Stanley Nattel. Electrophysiology for clinicians. 1st edition, Cardiotext publishinig, 2011.

  • Angiography/catheterization

    Mauro Moscucci. Grossman’s cardiac catheterization, angiography and intervention. 8th edition, Wolters Kluwer health, LPWW, 2014.

    Morton J. Kern. The cardiac catheterization handbook. 5th edition, Elservier Saunders, 2011.

    Réda Ibrahim, Alexis Matteau and Nicolo Piazza. Le bilan hémodynamique par cathétérisme cardiaque. 1st edition, Les presses de l’Université de Montréal, 2009.

  • Congenital disease

    Michael A. Gatzoulis et al. Diagnosis and management of adult congenital heart disease. 2nd edition, Elsevier Saunders, 2011.

  • Echocardiography

    Jae K. Oh et al. The Echo manual. 3rd edition, Wolters Kluwer health, LPWW, 2007.

    Cahterine Otto. Textbook of clinical echocardiography. 4th edition, Saunders Elsevier, 2009.