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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Robert M Arensman, MD (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This is an attempt to survey and report on the current knowledge about, and use of, fetal interventions.
Purpose: Surprisingly, this book has no preface or foreword, but it seems the purpose is to report on the current state of fetal surgery, which is rapidly changing and requires frequent updates. The book is complete, thorough, and does a creditable job of achieving this presumed purpose.
Audience: The audience crosses the fields of obstetrics, pediatric surgery, and neonatology, with chapters of some interest to cardiologists and perhaps radiologists. The three editors are well-qualified authors from three centers of fetal surgery in the U.K., the U.S., and the Netherlands. To author the 22 chapters, they have assembled 92 contributors, drawn heavily from their own centers but including experts from around the world.
Features: Essentially this book has two sections: a short introductory section of five chapters (general principles) that covers topics such as risk, ethics, rationales, and embryology, and a section of 17 chapters that are disease specific (fetal disease, pathogenesis, and principles). In this section, contributors discuss very specific diagnostic problems, usually in short, well-paced presentations that focus on diagnosis, treatment, complications, and outcomes. These topics begin with blood problems (red cell alloimmunization and platelet problems), progress to structural heart disease, then problems involving twin blood flow and renal, pulmonary, and neural tube malformations. Of course, the book concludes with a chapter that looks toward the future and international cooperation.
Assessment: This is a handsome book that surveys the current state of the field of fetal intervention. It is thorough, well written, well illustrated with mixed black-and-white and color illustrations. It is a good, standard primer of where this field stands today and only has the disadvantage of being quickly outdated by the rapidly changing world of fetal care.