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From The CriticsReviewer: Anthony Shanks, MD (Washington University School of Medicine)
Description: This wonderful book details the events that influence the evolving fetus as well as the impact on future adult disease.
Purpose: It is a comprehensive review of the placenta and its clinical impact on the fetus as well as adult disease. Certainly, this is a worthwhile objective and the book does a good job of addressing it.
Audience: It is written for physicians and scientists who have an interest in pregnant populations. Clinicians also would appreciate the pearls that help make the biological component of this temporary organ relevant at the patient level. The authors are the foremost experts in the field and carry great weight on this topic.
Features: The book is beautifully laid out and divided into very appropriate sections, including the fetal origin of adult disease, placental development, examination of the placenta, research techniques, and medical diseases and complications. Illustrations nicely complement the text, and clinical pearls are an efficient way to highlight the most important material. One suggestion for the section on medical diseases and complications would be to provide references within the table. For example, on page 255, clinical criteria are presented for the antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, but because this is a rapidly evolving area of medicine, it would be helpful to know that the most recent ACOG practice bulletins are referenced.
Assessment: At a time when there is so much overlap in the realm of medical books, this one stands out as a unique and worthwhile contribution to the field. From the clarity of its layout to its detailed descriptions to its in-depth illustrations, it is a great reference for anyone interested in the physiology of pregnancy.