The topics in this book represent the presentations given at the Seventh Annual Meeting entitled "Cardiac Surgery: Current Issues," held at the Frenchman's Reef Beach Resort, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, November 9-12, 1994. This symposium was sponsored by the American College of Chest Physicians in conjunction with the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery of Cooper HospitallUniversity Medical Center, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Camden, New Jersey. Chapter authors were charged with the task of writing brief overviews of major issues related to the field of cardiac surgery. The book is specifically tailored to the needs of cardiothoracic surgeons, cardiovascular perfusionists, allied health professionals, and nurs ing personnel involved in all phases of caring for the cardiac surgical patient. Although intended as a reference source with emphasis on updated approaches applied in cardiac surgery, it is hoped that the discussion of these topics will compliment other texts and manuscripts. Obviously, a book of this length cannot cover the whole multidisciplinary and complex field of cardiac surgery. However, co-editors are certain that the annual appearance of this text will highlight comprehensive, new, and interesting approaches to the field of cardiac surgery. The co-editors are greatly thankful to the contributors for their efforts in providing comprehensive chapters. Without their expertise, this work may not have been possible. We would also like to thank Ms. Eileen Birmingham and the staff at Plenum Publishing Corporation for their tremendous help in completing this work.