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Doody ReviewsReviewer: Jon Webb, MD (University of Kentucky College of Medicine)
Description: This is the fourth edition of a book that provides a clinical approach to disorders involving abnormalities in acid-base, salt and water, and potassium homeostasis.
Purpose: This is a thorough reference on the physiology and clinical management of common clinical cases in acid-base and fluid disorders. It encourages an understanding of the disease processes with detailed explanations on basic physiology.
Audience: Although the book serves as a reference for nephrologists, it is also intended as a useful tool for general internists, intensive care physicians, and pediatricians.
Features: Each of the four sections opens with a focus on physiology followed by common clinical abnormalities. Chapters begin with an introduction to the theme and a list of objectives before continuing on with an exploration of the topics, which includes helpful diagrams and tables, and concluding with a discussion of questions detailed throughout the chapter. The book is designed with multiple different reading styles in mind, but maintains a thoughtful approach throughout. For general readers, the book flows easily and can be read with helpful insight, although this style is suited for those with more time to devote to the topics. However, the authors also focus on readers vested in answers to clinical emergencies and provide easy access to appropriate management. For students, a case-based approach supplies familiar presentations with corresponding solutions. Well-placed questions are identifiable throughout the chapters, which conclude with case solutions designed to support the preceding physiologic review. Lastly, a nice review of suggested readings provides a resource for further information.
Assessment: The problem-based approach the book uses provides a thorough review for common clinical scenarios. This fourth edition adds an author and further emphasizes a deep understanding of the physiology. The book is designed to take a new perspective on classic scenarios and use facts to explain why previously accepted theories need to be challenged. The concept of understanding is evident, and the authors go to great lengths to describe clinical scenarios with easily followed basic mechanisms. With this in mind, the book is likely best suited for nephrologists, and more specifically, nephrologists in training. In fact, this would be a useful tool for fellowship programs and, even more important, in preparation for board exams. The amount of information is extensive, and I found myself distracted by the details listed at the sides of the pages, while also looking ahead to the case discussion. Thus, quick management decisions and guidance are difficult to locate, but with time, a deeper understanding of the disease process allows for excellent clinical care.