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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Willem J de Villiers, MD, PhD, MHCM (University of Kentucky College of Medicine)
Description: This long-awaited 4th edition (the previous edition was published in 1996) of this venerable, authoritative textbook of liver disease edited by Zakim and Boyer, was a pleasure to review. The book, thoroughly updated and current, follows the same general, trusted guidelines as the previous editions.
Purpose: The book is intended as an up-to-date comprehensive textbook of liver disease and is aimed particularly at gastroenterology and hepatology trainees, subspecialists and transplant hepatologists. This edition is evidence of both the editors' and the textbook's durability and reputation. The topics are covered exhaustively with numerous relevant references which are especially helpful because of the ever-quickening pace of medicine.
Audience: The authors and their extensive panel of contributors (predominantly from the United States) are outstanding authorities in their respective fields. The book contains a wealth of information and is correctly targeted more at gastroenterologists and hepatologists as a reference textbook.
Features: This 2-volume book covers the entire spectrum of liver diseases. Volume 1, titled Normal Liver Function and Systemic Effects of Liver Dysfunction and contains sections on cell biology, biochemistry, and physiology of liver function; systemic effects of liver disease; and laboratory methods for evaluation of patients with liver disease. Sections in volume 2 (Etiologies, Clinical Features, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Specific Liver Diseases) covers toxic injury to the liver and associated diseases; diagnosis and management of liver disease due to infectious agents; diagnosis and management of chronic forms of liver disease; tumors of the liver; liver disease primarily of children; special topics; and diseases of the biliary tract. In this new edition hepatitis B and C viruses are treated separately and there are two new chapters on other viral liver diseases. The basic science and clinical aspects of alcoholic liver disease are also now extensively discussed in separate chapters. Diagrams and photographs (both black-and-white and color) are extensively used throughout.
Assessment: This welcome new edition represents a heavyweight in the field of hepatology textbooks. It is comprehensive and compares very favorably with the other North American heavyweight, Schiff's Diseases of the Liver, 9th edition, by Schiff et al. (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2003), as well as the British stalwart, Sherlock and Dooley's Diseases of the Liver and Biliary System, 11th edition (Blackwell Publishing, 2002). It should be available in every gastroenterologist's office as well as in reference sections in medical school libraries.