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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: David J. Dries, MD (University of Minnesota Medical School)
Description: Although this book discusses other imaging, its main focus is on reading chest films of critically ill patients.
Purpose: It provides critical care physicians with tools to identify key chest radiograph findings when a radiology consultant is not available.
Audience: Students, postgraduate trainees, and senior practitioners are an appropriate audience for this book, which originates from the lecture series of a senior radiologist at the University of Connecticut.
Features: This handsome book of approximately 180 pages is divided into two sections. The first section describes the physics and key findings on portable chest radiographs for a variety of clinical problems in critical care practice, such as lung injury, pneumonia, and pulmonary edema. Identifying appropriate locations for vascular catheters, chest drains, and other tubes is discussed at length. Most important, it presents a systematic approach to reading chest radiographs in the intensive care unit. After the initial section, a bibliography of over 100 references is presented, the majority of which are from the primary literature and represent classic papers in radiology and cardiopulmonary critical care. The second section includes case studies with radiographs typifying important abnormal findings from the critical care unit. Each radiograph is presented after a brief clinical scenario. A subsequent paragraph discusses key findings on each radiograph. Radiographs reproduce with adequate quality and CT scans have adequate resolution. Line drawings are of good quality but are infrequent. A CD-ROM with relevant images accompanies the book.
Assessment: This is a readable collection of pearls for critical care providers. While it could use some copyediting, this book can be a useful part of a general ICU bookshelf.