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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Robert E Helgans, MD (University of Colorado Health Sciences Center)
Description: This is an updated edition of a comprehensive radiology book that focuses on the gastrointestinal tract and abdomen. The book approaches disease processes of the abdomen by pattern on plain radiography and fluoroscopic evaluation. The last edition was published in 1996.
Purpose: This well-structured book successfully organizes imaging of the gastrointestinal tract by pattern. Chapters are organized by differential diagnosis for a given pattern rather than by a disease process. This means of presentation is a keen alternative to books that discuss each pathologic process in detail and then provide classic imaging manifestations. Often one is overwhelmed by books with the latter approach and many of the disease processes are difficult to radiographically distinguish. The pattern approach focuses on differentiating similar disease processes. The book's worthy objective was successfully met.
Audience: I think the book is excellent for all comers. It provides a structured approach for a radiology resident in training and an excellent resource for any practicing general or specialized body imaging radiologist. The author does not specify his intended audience, but I believe he is targeting both trainees and practicing radiologists. The author is a credible authority.
Features: The book comprehensively covers the alimentary tract (esophagus to rectum) and the biliary system. Additionally, diseases of the liver and spleen are discussed by pattern on CT. A new chapter, MRI of liver disease, has been added since the third edition. The best component of the book is its discussion of bowel disease based on fluoroscopic and plain film findings. The pattern approach to disease processes is a nice alternative to other books and emphasizes the differential diagnosis. The index is thorough and useful. The only significant change is the addition of a new chapter on MRI of liver disease. Otherwise, the text, images, and format are largely unchanged. Unfortunately, nearly all of the ultrasound and CT images in the biliary and liver section are outdated and unchanged.
Assessment: I highly recommend this book for one's personal radiology library. The pattern approach to GI pathology is unique and is excellent for anyone interested in bolstering his or her differential diagnosis. However, I do not think the small changes in this fourth edition warrant replacing the previous edition.