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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Gilad A. Gross, MD (Washington University School of Medicine)
Description: This completely updated edition of what has long been considered the "gold standard" for high-risk obstetrical textbooks solidifies that deserved standing. Remaining a true maternal-fetal medicine textbook, it examines in detail the discipline of perinatology by reviewing the complexities and complications of human pregnancy. Since the publication of the 2004 edition, there have been numerous advances in the field warranting this latest entry with a number of new chapters, among them the pathogenesis of preterm labor and benign gynecologic conditions in pregnancy.
Purpose: This comprehensive book is dedicated to the management of pregnancy complications, primarily using evidence-based guidelines for best practices. Each complication is examined from a diagnostic and management perspective. When available, basic scientific information is provided as background. For the most part, it presents detailed information and serves as an invaluable reference for any provider of obstetric medicine.
Audience: This is one textbook that can be helpful for any provider of obstetrical care, from obstetrics/gynecology interns to maternal-fetal medicine specialists. Chapters are written by a "who's who" of obstetricians and can be relied upon to provide unbiased and up-to-date information.
Features: Five sections cover the scientific basis of perinatal biology, fetal disorders, disorders at the maternal-fetal interface, maternal complications, and neonatal issues. The chapters flow in a logical manner with well organized sections headlined by appropriate labels. The book's strength lies in the expertise of its authors as each chapter is skillfully crafted. Every chapter is updated and bolstered with high quality images (many in color) and easy to grasp tables. Online access is available with this purchase, allowing the authors to further update the text, but logging on was difficult at times. As with any book, it is difficult to be all encompassing (for example, chapter 18 on the imaging of fetal anomalies). However, this provides an ample starting point. This is a very accessible book that does not intimidate despite its complicated subject.
Assessment: This book is as good as it gets when it comes to a comprehensive review of maternal-fetal medicine. It should be part of any perinatologist's library, and one could make the case that anyone caring for pregnant women should own a copy. This edition is the most appealing and is worth every penny.