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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Daniel R. Ganger, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: The 34 chapters of this book are well divided into the major syndromes of presentations of liver disease, complications of cirrhosis and liver failure, specific liver pathology, and liver-related issues in systemic conditions or situations. This would properly cover most presentations of liver disease to meet the objectives of the editors.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide rapid access in a concise practical format to all aspects in liver disease.
Audience: The audience includes practitioners in primary care, gastroenterology, and hepatology.
Features: The multiple contributors have faithfully followed the format with key points, brief overviews and pathogenesis, and practical contributions in the areas of diagnostic tests and treatments. The tables are high quality providing, in most cases, a very rapid access to information. The usefulness of practical guidelines in the viral hepatitis chapter are limited, however, since at the time of publication some currently used therapies had yet to receive FDA approval.
Assessment: As an alternative to the encyclopedic texts in liver diseases, two books are available: Kaplowitz's Liver and Biliary Disease, 2nd edition (Williams & Wilkins, 1996) and Sherlock and Dooley's Diseases of the Liver and Biliary System, 10th edition (Blackwell Science, 1997). This handbook is also high quality but easier to handle. It also provides faster access to the information sought by busy practitioners. Overall, this is an excellent addition to the library of gastroenterologists, hepatologists, and internists. Based on its format, it will require frequent editions to meet the objectives set by the editors.