Description: This is the second edition of a book, significantly revised from its first edition published in 2002, which broadly addresses all aspects of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Both editions were inspired by the Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) guidelines published in 2001.
Purpose: The book is an attempt to adopt the observations of authorities from diverse experience, providing a comprehensive review of the current state of the art respecting COPD.
Audience: The audience is large and varied, but would include primary care internists, pulmonologists, and intensivists. Nurses, respiratory therapists, and rehabilitators would undoubtedly find the reference informative. It would also provide a real-life reference for basic science researchers in putting a face on applications carried out in the laboratory. There are nearly 50 contributors of international renown, although primarily from the United States, Canada, and Western Europe.
Features: This is one of the most comprehensive and up-to-date treatises that I have surveyed covering basic molecular biology and genetics underlying the disease for the clinician, epidemiology, early diagnosis, clinical presentation, and management from mildly afflicted to those requiring assisted ventilation and end-of-life palliation. The book focuses exceptionally upon the speculated growing role for pharmacotherapeutics, originally relegated to symptom palliation; that is, it makes inferences upon disease modification and impact upon mortality. In the latter respect, it offers evidence-based medicinal reviews and practice guidelines, constituents often lacking in similar undertakings. Particular emphasis is placed on objective measures of monitoring disease progress, an exercise becoming more important as survival potentially increases and upon hearing about management that might be rendered from multidisciplinary perspectives; experiences, in reality, not always afforded patients and/or their caregivers firsthand. This edition augments substantially the presentation of the last edition. Illustrations and graphics are limited, but sufficient to carry out the ends of each chapter. The bibliographies at each chapter end are extensive and relevant.
Assessment: This book achieves its likely intended goals well. For an average practitioner, it comes across as very accessible. I would personally consider it a very practical resource and would be intent upon adding it to my personal library.