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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Tiphanie Vogel, MD, PhD (Washington University Medical Center)
Description: Created from the immunology and rheumatology chapters of Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 18th edition, Longo et al. (McGraw-Hill, 2011), this book begins with the basics of immunobiology, then moves into a series of disease-specific chapters encompassing both inflammatory rheumatic conditions and common, noninflammatory musculoskeletal conditions.
Purpose: The authors present the information practitioners need to care for patients with rheumatic disease, with the goal of improving patient care. They also want the information to reflect the importance of rheumatology to the practice of internal medicine.
Audience: This is directed at practitioners caring for adult patients with a rheumatological disorder seeking more information to improve patient care, regardless of the practitioner's level of training. The authors also hope that providing this information will generate increased interest in the field of rheumatology. Given its origin in Harrison's, this book will be of most interest to practitioners of internal medicine.
Features: The book is divided into three sections. The first reviews basic immunobiology and includes insights into how malfunction of normal immune processes can predispose to autoimmunity. Section two reviews the clinical features, epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of rheumatic diseases. Section three addresses these topics for other musculoskeletal disorders including osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, and overuse conditions. The treatment sections are nicely highlighted in yellow textboxes, but the chapters otherwise do not follow a standardized format. However, the book is not written in a quick reference format. Instead, its paragraphs tackle complex issues in immunology and pathophysiology and are more encompassing than concise. A self-assessment test ends the book. As this is an extract from a larger book published two years prior, it carries a 2013 copyright, but content is updated only to 2011.
Assessment: Given the rapid pace of advances in immunology and rheumatology, updates are always valuable. This is useful for those who want a comprehensive review of rheumatology in a readable physical package. It has not been crafted for quick reference, but for those with time to engage in the learning process. It should be used with the understanding that, in such a rapidly advancing field as rheumatology, no textbook can be as current as the primary literature.