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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: William R. Hendee, PhD (Medical College of Wisconsin)
Description: This is the second edition of an introductory text on the fundamentals of MRI. It emphasizes the physical and biological principles of MRI but includes almost 100 pages devoted to MRI anatomy. The book is an extensive revision of the first edition published in 1988.
Purpose: The author states that his objective is to present an overview of the principles of conventional MRI and to help readers develop an understanding of the fast imaging techniques currently available. He sees the volume as part of his continued "efforts to make medical imaging understandable and medical physics fun." Certainly, these are worthy objectives, and in general they are satisfied in this text. The author, Dr. Bushong, is a very experienced writer who presents complex topics in ways they can be understood, and who uses illustrations and anecdotes to make reading his explanations fun.
Audience: The author states that his primary audiences are students, technologists, and physicians. This book addresses the needs of the first two groups very well, assuming that students means student technologists. Dr. Bushong is well established as a teacher and writer for these groups, and probably is better at it than any other physicist. I suspect that few physicians will find the book very helpful. The information is presented at a conceptual level appropriate for technologists but not for physicians who must understand the intricacies of the technology and its applications more thoroughly.
Features: The layout of this book is terrific. The illustrations are numerous and entertaining, and tables and line drawings are well thought out and clear. Except for one chapter, there are no references and no list for greater in-depth study is provided. This is a weakness of the book that should be remedied in future editions. An excellent glossary is provided, and the index is thorough and handy to use.
Assessment: In my opinion this is the definitive introductory book on the physics and biology of MRI for student and practicing technologists. The book will be less useful for persons such as physicians and physicists needing a more quantitative knowledge of MRI. The author is a very experienced teacher and writer who has a gift for presenting complex concepts in a simple and clear manner. One might recommend this book to an additional audience not identified by the author, namely persons who are contemplating writing a text and wondering how they can make their effort both informative and entertaining. For those persons, Dr. Bushong is recommended as a role model.