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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Elaine Adams, MD (Loyola University Medical Center)
Description: This is the 12th edition of a major textbook of rheumatology. It provides a comprehensive review of both basic science and clinical aspects of rheumatic disease. The editors are recognized masters of rheumatology, known to have an innovative approach to medicine.
Purpose: In its original edition, more than 50 years ago, this book was the first major text on arthritis and allied conditions. This edition attempts to retain the title as the foremost reference text on rheumatic diseases, despite challenges from many contenders in recent years.
Audience: The target audience is rheumatologists, whether practicing clinicians or investigators. However it is also designed to serve as a reference for medical students, residents, and any physician caring for patients with arthritis.
Features: The comprehensive nature of this book is a great strength. Nearly one-third of the text is devoted to basic science of immunology, cartilage, and joint function. This area is extensively updated, well referenced, and in general clearly written. The clinical chapters cover epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment. Controversial areas are approached scientifically. Most diseases are described in great detail. The tables in this text are a great asset, often summarizing large amounts of data or providing at one glance a review of clinical aspects of a disease. I found the presentation style pleasent and easy to read. Some of the photographs of crystals and MRI studies are stunningly beautiful. The index is well done.
Assessment: This book does an admirable job of reviewing all of the basic and clinical science of rheumatology. It has succeeded at providing both a broad and detailed review of the topic. Several new chapters and extensive updating ensure current reviews of the field. It is an essential text for all medical school and hospital libraries. It should be also in the personal library of any physician who cares for patients with arthritis and allied conditions.