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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Valerie L. Ng, PhD MD(Alameda County Medical Center/Highland Hospital)
Description: This is a comprehensive reference for laboratory medicine and the role of clinical laboratory testing in diagnosis, treatment and management of disease.
Purpose: The purpose of this book is to provide a comprehensive guide to laboratory testing and laboratory medicine principles to practitioners with a wide range of practical experience to assist them with appropriate and targeted use of the clinical laboratory. The authors have succeeded nicely in this important endeavor.
Audience: This book has wide appeal. It would be useful to all practitioners of medicine as well as allied health professionals (e.g., pharmacists, nurses, dentists, etc.) interested in how to best use the clinical laboratory for patient care. It would be a very useful bookshelf resource to pathology/laboratory medicine residents and practitioners as well as clinical laboratory scientist students and practitioners.
Features: This 2-inch thick book is just a little too big to fit in a lab coat pocket, which is unfortunate because this is where it would be most useful. The first section is an introduction to the theory and principles of laboratory medicine. The second and most extensive section contains an alphabetical listing of laboratory tests; each test includes a brief description of why the analyte is clinically important, followed by a listing of clinical conditions that cause abnormal values. The third section is an alphabetical listing of clinical disorders and their impact on a variety of laboratory test abnormalities. The fourth section contains an alphabetical listing of drugs and their effect on a variety of laboratory test values. Finally, there is the usual assortment of reference information important in the practice of medicine — e.g., reference ranges (in conventional as well as SI units), immunophenotypic markers and their distribution, pharmacokinetics, etc. This book was a collaborative effort by practitioners in the U.S. and the Slovak Republic — as a result, certain information specific to the Slovak Republic is included (e.g., some polymorphism frequencies in the Slovak population) as well as certain terms not frequently encountered in a book authored solely by U.S. practitioners (e.g., drugs are referred to as "medicaments"). Not to worry; there is an appendix titled "English synonymous vocabulary" for the multilingual-challenged practitioner.
Assessment: This is a nice comprehensive book to have readily available for that next request for an esoteric test. I especially enjoyed the European/Slovak perspective, writing style and scientific terms.