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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Larry R. Cochard, PhD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Description: This is the seventh edition of a popular embryology book that has been modified and expanded to further develop its strong clinical emphasis.
Purpose: The author writes in the preface that "The goal is to provide students with an understanding of the principles of embryogenesis that can be used in the diagnosis, care, and prevention of birth defects."
Audience: Medical students are the primary audience, but the book will be of interest to all healthcare professionals and students of embryology.
Features: The softcover book has 460 pages (an increase of 49) divided among eight chapters of general embryology and 12 chapters on body systems and special topics. Each chapter has a summary and suggested readings at the end. The figures consist of colored schematic diagrams, photos, and scanning electron micrographs. Some figures have been modified, and many new ones have been added. New features in this edition are "clinical correlates" in colored boxes and a few study questions at the end of each chapter. There is new material on gut rotation and the neural crest.
Assessment: This book has always focused on descriptive embryology and its relationship to birth defects at the expense of molecular and biological aspects of development. Most of the changes in this edition have enhanced its strong points instead of broadening the scope. But the book is a noticeable improvement, and it is very successful in achieving its goals. The writing is clear and direct, the effective line drawings make excellent use of color, and the clinical emphasis will continue to make this book a valuable contribution to medical embryology.