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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Ivan Damjanov, MD (University of Kansas Medical Center)
Description: This is the third edition of the well known, very popular, and widely used book on the interpretation of muscle biopsies.
Purpose: The authors' main purpose was to update the 1985 (second) edition of their book, which first appeared in print in 1973. Their efforts have paid off and they have produced a very nice book.
Audience: This was written for neurologists and pathologists who perform, examine, or interpret muscle biopsies. It will be used by residents as well. The authors are well known for their work on muscle diseases. A book by these experts will undoubtedly be received with great enthusiasm by all those who deal with muscle diseases. A lot of personal experience has been distilled into these well-worded pages!
Features: This is a compact book divided into two sections. Section 1 deals with the technical aspects of muscle biopsy, and includes step-by-step instructions on how to prepare the muscle for complex studies in the pathology laboratory. It also includes a review of normal muscle histology and essential elements of electron microscopy, enzyme histochemistry and immunohistochemistry. At the end of this section, there is a very useful summary, "How to read the muscle biopsy" that also contains a list of most important muscle diseases. The second section describes the pathology of individual diseases, presented succinctly but comprehensively.
Assessment: This is a major revision of a book that Professor Dubowitz launched more than 30 years ago. Unquestionably, this is an outstanding, beautifully produced book that provides readers with almost all they need to know about muscle biopsy. Well written, emphasizing the most important aspects of etiology, pathogenesis, and pathology, the book could be used as a primer as well as a reference for expert consultation. In other words, it is ideally suited for novices and experts in the field. It is profusely illustrated with high quality color illustrations, electron microphotographs, and schematic drawings that enhance the text. The references are current and include many 2004 articles. This is a much needed manual, which will, I hope, be as popular as its predecessors. It is, in my opinion, the best medium-sized book of muscle pathology currently in print. It belongs to the set of core titles in all pathology/neurology departmental libraries. It also deserves to be in all comprehensive hospital and medical school libraries.