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From The CriticsReviewer: Lawrence E. Williams, BSc, MSc, PhD (City of Hope National Medical Center)
Description: With Simon Cherry as new lead author, this third edition is a larger-format updating of the previous (1987) version of a very popular imaging textbook. The book covers a range of topics from atomic structure through counting statistics and on to radiation safety.
Purpose: This is intended as an introductory text in the physical technology of nuclear medicine. As such, it covers the physics and instrumentation in sufficient depth to be useful to trainees and students, but not at such depth that only the specialist would be interested in the results. Multiple printings of the second edition have attest to the success of the authors in fulfilling their goal. The new version updates primarily the growth areas of SPECT and PET imaging and is needed due to the 15 years since the prior version.
Audience: The main audience consists of medical physics students and practicing imaging physicists. The authors imagine the book more generally in the training of physicians, technologists, and scientists. This edition is more mathematical than the prior versions which could limit application in any such broad gamut of readers. I see some use by residents in nuclear medicine and radiology in their training and board exam preparation. Likewise, the practicing therapy physicist and radiation oncologist would find the SPECT and PET chapters providing important information on physiological imaging in treatment planning and follow-up. The authors are all well known in their field and provide contemporary information.
Features: The book covers a range of topics from atomic structure through to counting instruments and imaging devices such as gamma cameras and PET scanners. The best features are the new SPECT and PET chapters. Additionally, there is now a history and nuclear medicine current practice chapter. The index is excellent and references now include Internet sites. A number of worked examples appear in the text. No nuclear therapy is described in the dosimetry chapter and Monte Carlo techniques are not mentioned.
Assessment: This is — and probably has been — the standard textbook in its field. A third edition is justified due to the rapid changes in SPECT and PET imaging in the past 15 years. Its depth is appropriate for the majority of the student scientist audience. The authors' statement that the present version does not require knowledge of calculus is arguable. Many principles are (rightly) stated in the form of integrals or differential equations.