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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Trystain D. Johnson, M.D.(University of Colorado Health Sciences Center)
Description: In keeping with the Diagnostic Imaging series, this book offers a quick but rather complete outline format broken into individual diagnoses covering most aspects of spine imaging.
Purpose: The series purposefully excludes long sentences and elaborate prose in lieu of outlined, high-yield points of information. This makes for a quick reference that ably covers many topics. Dr. Ross certainly excels using this format to cover important spine topics.
Audience: The book is usable by radiologists at any level of training. The format allows quick referencing to assist practicing radiologists in a busy daily work environment. The important subject matter is easy to digest for those just beginning. The outline format also lends itself well to residents' review and board preparation. Having written on spine imaging before, Dr. Ross certainly provides a credible voice.
Features: The most common spine diagnoses are given individual attention. The diagnoses are grouped under color-coded disease category sections for even easier reference. Imaging features and numerous high-quality images are supplemented by ample coverage of general terms, differential diagnoses, pathologic and surgical correlates, and clinical issues. Key facts boxes on each topic provide even quicker information. Entries dealing with anatomy and nomenclature are convenient and avoid the need for two books or a computer. Not only is the list of pertinent differential diagnoses included with each topic, but a few bullets are provided for discriminating information. Particularly nice are the thumbnail images of top differential diagnoses. However, because the book is driven by specific diagnoses, some "topic splitting" occurs that may not sit well with "lumpers."
Assessment: The book nicely conveys a lot of pertinent information in a condensed format. It is more than a handbook but less than a total reference book. If one gets more from reading prose, this format may not be appealing. However, if a quick but fairly complete reference with imaging examples, including differential diagnoses, is needed, this book serves that purpose well.