Description: Although this text has seven parts, it functions as two books: one describing appropriate lab testing in specific disciplines, such as infertility, oncology, genetics, etc. (parts 1 to 6), and one describing individual lab tests (part 7).
Purpose: The author states that "the chapters have been selected to emphasize commonly performed tests, clinical problems requiring multiple or sequential testing, basic laboratory principles, and lab alterations secondary to medications." These are worthy objectives not met in any other book targeted to obstetricians/gynecologists. These objectives are met with some exceptions.
Audience: Though the audience is not specifically stated, this book is clearly intended for physicians who provide care to women. This is a multiauthored book in which many of the authors are junior faculty members at their institutions. Nonetheless, their contributions are generally succinct, focused, lucid, and complete.
Features: The book is slightly underillustrated, and the illustrations are rather inelegant, though functional. The references are sparse, reasonably current, but not always focused to the subject of the chapter. This book is functional, not esthetic. Its constriction, size, and dimensions intend it for use, not show. It will fit in the pocket of most lab coats.
Assessment: Readers should have a clinical text open next to this one. This text will describe the lab test but will not provide a comprehensive discussion of the clinical condition(s) associated with an abnormal test result. For example, serum 17-hydroxyprogesterone concentrations are stated to be increased in hirsute women with 21-hydroxylase deficiency. For some, an ACTH stimulation test is recommended. However, normal and abnormal test results are not stated, nor is the treatment of 21-hydroxylase deficiency. Nonetheless, this book fills a void and should improve in subsequent editions.