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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Sean D. Ruland, DO (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This overview of clinical electrodiagnostic medicine starts with the basics and the experimental technical aspects of the topic, then outlines and briefly discusses the etiologies of the neuropathologic conditions based on their clinical categorization, and, finally breaks the topic down into its component parts based on anatomic localization. This is the third edition of a text that was originally published in 1978 and whose second edition appeared in 1987.
Purpose: The purpose, as stated in the preface to the first edition, is to summarize and "review the manner in which electromyography may be of value in the investigation of patients with neuromuscular disorders..." The preface to the third edition indicates it is intended to update the many neurophysiological advances that have occurred since the last edition and to increase the amount of clinical detail. These appear to be worthwhile objectives and seem to have been adequately met.
Audience: The book is targeted, according to the author, at both physicians who manage neuromuscular pathology and electrodiagnosticians. I feel, however, that this book lies somewhere in between. I also acknowledge what a monumental task it would be to be able to satisfy an audience encompassing both electromyographers and general neurology clinicians who also manage these disease entities. The author is certainly a credible authority in the field, having written many papers on aspects of this topic.
Features: It is up-to-date, as any new text should be. The references are pertinent. The illustrations are more or less the standard for this type of text.
Assessment: In my opinion, this is an up-to-date overview of this topic that is probably too technical for the general clinician and yet too superficial for the electrodiagnostician. There are no unique features to this book that distinguish it from others on the topic, aside from the fact that it may be one of the most current. The fact that it has been ten years since the second edition probably justifies its revision, however.