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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Marion C. Cohen, PhD (SUNY Downstate Medical Center)
Description: Fundamental concepts of immunology, presented in the context of their clinical relevance, as well as more detailed information on the diagnosis and treatment of immunologically-based clinical disorders are presented in this book. To aid in this, clinical cases and questions and answers for review are included with each chapter.
Purpose: This book is meant to introduce fundamental components of the immune system so that it is possible to develop an understanding of how they interact to achieve host defense. In addition, there is an introduction to clinical disorders resulting from impairment of the immune system. This small book is packed full of information and with a modest cost offers a very nice perspective on the field of immunology.
Audience: The intended audience includes basic immunology students, medical students, clinicians, and teachers who need a quick bit of information about a topic. It should prove useful to all of the above as a resource and may even prove to be an appropriate textbook for some. The authors are certainly credible authorities in the field.
Features: This book presents a very complete basic discussion of immunology. There is relatively little detail but the important concepts are all presented thoroughly. Although the illustrations are either black-and-white or two-color, they are very easy to follow. There are no references, and the index is not useful. However, the table of contents is sufficiently detailed to make up for this lack. There are clinical cases and review questions that provide an emphasis of basic concepts. It should be noted that while the questions are useful for focus, many are not in the current NBME format.
Assessment: A number of books dealing with clinical immunology have been published recently. There is some variation between their emphasis, making each appealing for different reasons. This book is compact and easy-to-read with good illustrations. It offers a good overview of basic immunology in association with clinical issues and then goes on to discuss frequently encountered clinical problems in further detail. Given its size it's a "sleeper" as a textbook.