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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Gilad A. Gross, MD (Washington University School of Medicine)
Description: This comprehensive book approaches the concept of fetal medicine as a continuum from the earliest stages of genetic counseling and prenatal diagnosis through later management and treatment of congenital defects and specific pregnancy complications as well as providing unique insight into the growing field of fetal therapy.
Purpose: The purpose is to present topics that reflect the challenges of perinatal medicine. The ultimate goal is to provide a review of the most up-to-date options for care. In the end, this helps to support the authors' main aim, the provision of care that increases the chance of delivering healthy babies. The high quality of this book assures that it will be a highly cited text in the years to follow.
Audience: One of the benefits of this book is that it has something for every level of care provider ranging from midwife to generalist to perinatologist. It is also a valued resource for those studying (medical students) and in training (residents and fellows). Author credibility is never in question. The contributors are suitable choices and the high quality of the chapters reflects this notion.
Features: There are three broad categories of topics that are presented as a continuum. The first represents the earliest stages of fetal development and includes topics in the area of genetic screening. The next category deals with modalities of prenatal diagnosis concentrating on methods of imaging and other contemporary methods (such as fetal cells in the maternal circulation). The third category tackles specific fetal anomalies and their treatments. This book does an outstanding job of taking highly complex conditions and simplifying them. Topics are introduced and explained in easy to understand terms. Chapters are succinct and leave the reader with a satisfactory understanding of the conditions. Along the way, the authors consistently take an evidence-based approach. The authors also do a terrific job of explaining the rationale behind different tests while recognizing the fact that oftentimes practitioners are presented with different treatment options. Occasionally, some images were not as clear as they could be. This is not a huge book and the smaller size likely has something to do with this relatively minor shortcoming.
Assessment: This is easily one of the best books in perinatal medicine. The chapters flow naturally and the bit of redundancy actually serves to help in understanding the difficult topics. The authors do a great job of incorporating the most up-to-date literature, data, and concepts. They recognize that the treatment of some conditions is not cemented by evidence-based studies and that there is much to learn. They are simply presenting a comprehensive review of the landscape of perinatal medicine, a growing and exciting field.