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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: William R. Treem, MD, FAAP (Duke University School of Medicine)
Description: Since the publication of the first edition of this book in 1983, the field of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition has expanded tremendously in our understanding of underlying disease pathophysiology, our technical capability to perform diagnostic tests and procedures, and our ability to treat these disorders. This new edition succinctly summarizes these new developments in a format accessible to the primary care health practitioner.
Purpose: The purpose is to present a practical analysis of gastrointestinal symptoms and signs in childhood and an overview of specific disease entities. Because the three editors are noted experts from Great Britain, Canada, and the United States, they have been able to assemble an impressive list of contributors who offer a consensus of best clinical practices in the English-speaking medical community. In the first edition, the editors themselves wrote all the chapters; however with the proliferation of knowledge in the field, the move to multiple contributors has largely allowed them to keep the subject matter authoritative and up-to-date.
Audience: The book is designed for the pediatric practitioner or trainee who desires a short readable synopsis of common pediatric gastroenterology and hepatology problems. It is particularly effective in the section on gastrointestinal symptoms and signs where topics such as acute and chronic vomiting, acute and chronic diarrhea, recurrent abdominal pain, and failure to thrive are presented. In the section on specific disease entities, certain subjects such as disorders of the liver and inflammatory bowel disease receive superficial treatment considering their frequent occurrence in pediatric practice. Others, such as immunologic disorders, occupy a prominent place in spite of their rarity. Overall, the presentation is balanced and meets the need of the general pediatric practitioner.
Features: The book contains numerous useful tables that aid in summarizing large amounts of material. There are, however, relatively few illustrations, radiographs, or histologic specimens used to illuminate the material; only some of the chapters contain algorithms that summarize the author's approach to diagnosis and treatment.
Assessment: This edition fills an important gap in the pediatric gastroenterology literature between the large exhaustive textbooks and the case-based or outline format of the slim volumes designed for pediatric residents and fellows. Office-based pediatricians and family practitioners will want this book on their shelves and will go to it often in their day-to-day practice of pediatrics.