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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: M Vaughn Emerson, MD (Johns Hopkins Hospital)
Description: This book is an interesting approach to the initial assessment, workup, and treatment of vitreoretinal disease that includes descriptions, summaries, and algorithms of an assortment of posterior segment conditions. The previous editions were published in 1989 and 1984.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide updated information concerning the recognition, workup, and management of retinal findings and diseases from the point of view of a general eyecare practitioner. This is a difficult task, as the need for this information is wholly dependent on the level of training of a particular practitioner. In the world of eyecare today, much of the realm of retinal disease is managed by retinal specialists and is not even dealt with by general practitioners. In this sense, the book cannot help but succeed in its goal, as no one would fault a practitioner who simply referred patients with most of these conditions rather than attempting to manage them single-handedly
Audience: The author intends for this book to be used by the general eyecare practitioner. This appears to be appropriate. In my opinion, a book about retinal disease would be most appropriately written by a vitreoretinal specialist; it is not clear in the book whether the author or contributors have this specialty training.
Features: The book covers a good portion of topics in vitreoretinal disease including a brief introduction to diagnostic techniques, optic disc, macular disease, peripheral retinal disease, and vitreous disease. The chapter on retinal vascular disease is particularly well written. The most effective aspects of the book include a plethora of high-quality color photos, fluorescein angiograms, and useful conceptual diagrams. The algorithms that depict workup and management of many findings and disorders present a concise reference for in-office use. Unfortunately, the book is not comprehensive, and therefore does not have the space for mention of other disease categories. This being said, it provides a strong framework with which to approach retinal disease with the tools necessary to initiate workups prior to referral to a vitreoretinal specialist.
Assessment: This book has several improvements over the previous editions. The most important of these is the extensive addition of workup algorithms which clearly spell out the diagnostic approach to retinal disease for the nonspecialist. There are very few books on the market that present information for this particular audience and, therefore, it fills a gap in the field of eyecare books.