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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Geoffrey D Guttmann, PhD (The Commonwealth Medical College)
Description: This comprehensive compendium of anatomical knowledge useful in clinical practice clearly shows many excellent clinical correlates to relevant anatomy. Like the previous edition, this edition uses a regional organization, but the book is now entirely in four colors and uses more diagnostic images to illustrate the clinical approach.
Purpose: This 40th edition definitively fulfills Henry Gray's initial aim "to describe the clinically relevant anatomy of the human body, particularly (but not exclusively) for the practicing surgeon" as stated by the editor-in-chief, Susan Standring. Features such as the use of full color and the addition of many more diagnostic images to support the application of anatomy to clinical practice makes this edition a fine completion of the editors' intentions initiated with the previous edition.
Audience: This is truly a long lasting reference well designed for clinicians, anatomists, or scientists with an abiding interest in anatomy, but it is also useful for any residents who would like to have a durable anatomical reference book. The editors are leading clinicians, anatomists, and scientists in their fields who have engaged an outstanding group of contributors to make this edition relevant for practicing clinicians.
Features: The opening sections cover cells, tissues and systems, embryogenesis, and neuroanatomy. The remaining sections describe the regional organization of the body starting with the head and neck and moving through the body to the lower limb. Within each section, where the pages have color-coded edges, chapters cover the development of the organ system relevant to the region. A significant number of subsections discuss clinical conditions, using radiological images and illustrations to further demonstrate these conditions. For example, one may look at chapter 22, on the basal ganglia, and review the subsection on "Pathophysiology of Basal Ganglia Disorders" to learn more about Parkinson's disease and see MRIs showing the placement of deep brain stimulating electrodes in the subthalamic or pedunculopontine nucleus. The 86-page index is both a boon and a bane. It is a help in navigating the book because it is extensive and complete, but it still needs some editing, as seen by the listing of sacrospinous twice under "ligament (named)" and the improper page number associated with the medial palpebral ligament.
Assessment: As an anatomist, I'd call this is a must-have book. As one with clinical experience, I'd buy this edition to keep as an up-to-date anatomical reference compendium. The 40th edition is complete and concise in covering all anatomy, and relevant to clinical practice without becoming unwieldy.