Description: This is a book of 120 case presentations in clinical tuberculosis. Virtually every conceivable scenario is represented, including usual and unusual pulmonary and extrapulmonary presentations, and patients with multiple underlying disorders including HIV disease, adverse drug reactions, drug resistance, poor compliance, pediatric aspects, complications, and environmental Mycobacteria. Case discussions are brief but pertinent and instructive.
Purpose: The purpose is to share with the readership via the case method the lessons learned by 21 clinicians, challenged with the diagnostic and therapeutic dilemmas posed by 120 patients with tuberculosis. This is a worthy objective since this time-honored and highly effective method is used in relatively few books on this subject. This very familiar instructive and provocative approach seems to help the authors accomplish their stated goal.
Audience: The authors target the trainee in infectious diseases and respiratory medicine, as well as the practicing clinician all of whom should benefit from reading this book. The authors have impressive academic and clinical backgrounds, but manage to write in a direct, clear, informative manner.
Features: Virtually every major clinical presentation of the disease is covered common diagnostic and therapeutic issues and pitfalls, especially relative to management, like drug resistance and noncompliance. The strength of the book lies in the vast experience of the authors and their honesty in admitting and discussing management errors. The cosmopolitan patient mix, combined with the plethora of x-rays, some of which are not very clear, and the interesting glossies depicting unusual dermatologic and histologic material, make up a few of the unique features. Some of the terminology (Heal test for tuberculin) and drug regimes (three drugs for active cases contracted locally) may not be readily recognizable to North Americans, but the differences are interesting and understandable.
Assessment: The selection of highly instructive cases, succinct discussions by experienced authors, and utilization of ample illustrations, make this book a valuable tool in honing one's skills in tuberculosis care. The paucity of reference material, and occasional expression of unreferenced opinions, as well as minor differences in terminology and treatment vis-a-vis the American reader blunts its appeal, but overall it would be well worth the time to peruse this relatively short book.