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From The CriticsReviewer: Valerie L. Ng, PhD MD(Alameda County Medical Center/Highland Hospital)
Description: This is a compilation of test protocols for mass spectrometry testing of clinically relevant analytes.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a compendium of mass spectrometry protocols in recognition of its increasing use in clinical laboratories.
Audience: This book is intended for use by clinical laboratories using mass spectrometry. It would be extraordinarily useful for technical supervisors, clinical consultants, and testing personnel of clinical laboratory chemistry sections. It also would be of interest to laboratory medicine or pathology residents, clinical chemistry fellows, or laboratory directors who use this methodology in their laboratories.
Features: The editors are right on target with anticipating the need for this book, correctly identifying the rapid expansion of mass spectrometry use in the clinical laboratory and the need for associated protocols and method standardization. After the first introductory chapter, the remaining 51 chapters are standalone protocols for anything you might be tempted to quantify or identify using mass spectrometry (i.e., amino acids, drugs, vitamin D levels, steroids, inborn errors of metabolism, some antibiotics, etc.). Each chapter is basically a laboratory protocol easily adaptable to an individual laboratory. The chapters/protocols follow a standard format — clinical rationale for the assay, materials (with extensive tables of internal control materials as necessary), quality control, instrumentation, method, calculations, results interpretation, procedure notes, and references a la the CLSI recommended policy and procedure guidelines. This is a great book to have if you are considering implementing mass spectrometry in your laboratory or expanding your test menu — either should be relatively easy with these protocols in hand. This is a very welcome addition to the laboratory medicine field.
Assessment: This is a great compilation of mass spectrometry protocols for clinically useful analytes. Get it if you are considering implementing this method (so you know what you're getting into) or expanding your test menu (so you can readily adapt the protocols to your own setting).