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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Fang Fan, MD, PhD (University of Kansas Medical Center)
Description: The authors of this book use a case-based approach to discuss selected lesions in each disease category of head and neck pathology. This third volume in the Consultant Pathology series follows volumes on tumorigenic melanocytic proliferations and brain tumors.
Purpose: The authors select cases from their consultation files for discussion and illustration. This case-based format is unique, practical, and easy to read. The authors' objectives of "sharing the educational value of the consultation cases and addressing some of the frequently raised questions" are well met.
Audience: This is suitable for pathology residents, surgical pathology fellows, and practicing pathologists who deal with head and neck pathology on a daily basis. Because the book is not written in a traditional systemic textbook format, pathology beginners may find it difficult to follow. However, senior pathology trainees and surgical pathologists who have a good fund of knowledge of head and neck pathology will like and appreciate this case-based format. Dr. Leon Barnes is a highly reputed expert in head and neck pathology.
Features: The book uses 50 didactic cases to discuss selected disease entities under nine categories, including squamous cell carcinoma, salivary glands, sinonasal tract-nasopharynx, dental lesions, neural-neuroectodermal lesions, soft tissue tumors, bone tumors, endocrine tumors, and miscellaneous lesions. Each case presentation starts with clinical information, followed by opinion which includes microscopic description, immunohistochemical stain or other ancillary test results, and final diagnosis. The case presentation concludes with discussion which contains a brief introduction of the disease entity, a description of characteristic gross and/or microscopic features of the lesion, and differential diagnosis. The text is succinct and easy to read, the illustrations are of high quality. What I like the most is that each chapter reads like a consultation report, very practical and to the point. Some of the commonly raised questions are addressed such as verrucous carcinoma versus papillary keratosis (chapter 1.5), different types of schneiderian papilloma (chapter 3.1), and carcinoma arising in a branchial cleft cyst versus metastatic carcinoma (chapter 9.1). Some rare or recently described lesions are also presented such as oncocytic mucoepidermoid carcinoma (chapter 2.7), and sclerosing polycystic adenosis (chapter 2.11). One small suggestion I have for future editions is that the summarized key diagnostic points for each lesion appear in a highlighted box as does the diagnosis. That will make the learning points stand out for each lesion.
Assessment: As a practicing pathologist dealing with head and neck pathology on a daily basis, I find this book very practical and useful, to the point that I wish the authors had included more cases to cover more lesions. I am sure many colleagues will like the approach of this book as I do and use it as consultation for similar cases in head and neck pathology.