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From The CriticsReviewer: Luis F. Escobar, MD, MS (St. Vincent Hospital and Health Care Center)
Description: Human Malformations and Related Anomalies, Second Edition is an excellent contribution to the dysmorphology field. It provides a unique approach to the referenced information, deviating from the classical approach of syndromic description to developing a system where specific birth defects are reviewed individually and linked to the most common forms of presentation. This reference textbook provides a wonderful review of the embryologic process involved in the causation of specific birth defects. It provides excellent listings of syndromes seen in association with specific birth defects. Such listings are an excellent aid to the dysmorphologist to develop differential diagnoses in clinical consultations. As described by the authors, ten years have elapsed since the publication of the first edition of Human Malformations. This second edition has been condensed in one single volume. Current tables include new information on specific locus/genes linked to the disorders included in each chapter.
Purpose: Dr. Stevenson and Hall have accomplished a great objective. They have been able to compile in an easy to read manner a body of information that links individual anomalies to malformation syndromes. This is a novel approach which helps the clinician understand each individual anomaly embryological process. By providing this information, Human malformations allows the genetics consultant with the ability to conduct an extremely refined search for information based on the differential diagnosis provided. This is a must have textbook.
Audience: Human Malformations and Related Anomalies is a magnificent tool for the health care provider involved in the care of patients with birth defects. The clinical geneticists will benefit from the ability to review dysmorphology evaluation quickly and efficiently during clinical consultations. In addition, it would help the medical students or physicians in training to understand the embryology of birth defects and their significance in clinical prognosis. In addition, Human Malformations will aid the genetic counselors to provide accurate information and simple explanations to parents of affected children with individual birth defects.
Features: Human Malformations covers individual birth defects by specific physical structures categorized by systems. By discussing each anomaly individually, it makes the search for specific information easy and fast. A perfect example is the chapter dedicated to aglossia (page 791) which is a unique set of information rarely discussed in other textbooks but extremely useful to determine the etiology, natural history and clinical implications of this rare anomaly. Clearly, Human Malformations is a unique approach to dysmorphology that has no predecessors. This second edition has been well thought and planned. The compilation from a two volume first edition to one volume was an excellent idea.
Assessment: It is difficult to compare this textbook to others in the market as the way the information is presented here is so unique. Drs. Stevenson and Hall have gotten together an incredible team of authors from the dysmorphology world. This one of the highest quality works in the genetics market at this time. It is a broad overview of birth defects from the embryological perspective. It is very clear that future editions would be greatly appreciated by the Clinical Genetics World.