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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Alfred H Kim, MD, PhD (Washington University Medical Center)
Description: This is the 13th edition of one of the most comprehensive and authoritative references in rheumatology, expanding on the excellent 12th edition published in 2001.
Purpose: This primer is designed to provide the most up-to-date information on virtually every disease encountered by rheumatologists and others who treat patients with rheumatologic diseases. This edition is impressively thorough, covering everything from the evaluation of the patient to current and novel therapeutic strategies to the latest basic science data describing possible mechanisms of disease and therapies. The editors accomplish this Herculean task brilliantly, although the length of some chapters may make it difficult to crystallize the information.
Audience: The book is designed for anyone interested in learning in detail about rheumatology. From students to skilled rheumatologists, all will benefit from this reference. The authenticity of the information cannot be doubted, as the leading authorities in rheumatology contributed to this effort. The only people this book may not be appropriate for are healthcare professionals just trying to learn the essence of a disease and primary treatment options — the detail may overwhelm this audience.
Features: A wide spectrum of rheumatologic conditions is covered, such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, vasculitides, osteoporosis, pain syndromes, and periodic syndromes, and many others. Essentially, almost every condition in rheumatology is covered. The strength of this book continues to be its emphasis on evaluation and treatment. New to this edition is a chapter on the molecular and cellular basis of immunity with a description of pathogenesis for all major rheumatologic conditions. The breadth of this reference is apparent from the first chapter, on the public health impact of arthritis, to the last chapter, on complementary and alternative therapies.
Assessment: The Primer on the Rheumatic Diseases has grown from a 52-page pamphlet in 1934 to a 700+ page book of 44 chapters and three appendixes with this edition. These pages contain the foremost authoritative and current information on virtually every rheumatologic condition. By combining information useful to clinicians (i.e. evaluation and treatment) with data from the latest clinical trials and bench research (which is inadequately covered in the 12th edition), this edition now sets the benchmark (along with Klippel and Dieppe's two-volume Rheumatology) for other references.