Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Ruric (Andy) Anderson, MD (University of Chicago Hospitals)
Description: This book lists and defines available diagnostic tests. Detailed testing algorithms are outlined and testing options for specific symptoms and diagnoses are given.
Purpose: The purpose is to be a practical manual that will aid the clinician in the selection and interpretation of diagnostic tests in a cost-effective manner.
Audience: The audience is intended to be the practicing clinician. Primary care physicians will find this book most useful. Students and house officers also will enhance their differential diagnostic skills based on the testing options and algorithms in the text. The author is a consulting internist and neurologist at a community hospital.
Features: The only illustrations in this book are the algorithms. The index and table of contents add little given that the testing, symptoms, and diagnoses are listed alphabetically. The bibliography is limited and primarily lists other similar texts.
Assessment: The listing of available testing is adequately comprehensive. Discussion and interpretation of the tests is brief but instructive. Many of the algorithms are useful for diagnostic strategy. However, the goal of cost-effectiveness is not met in this text. Listings of multiple tests to consider provide no indication of prioritization and may encourage unnecessary and potentially harmful testing. An individual practitioner might enjoy this book as a resource but should be cautious about using this book as a guide.