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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Mony Fraer, MD, FACP, FASN (University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics)
Description: This is the fourth edition of a well-known, comprehensive update of the procedural, theoretical, and clinical aspects of dialysis therapy. Over the span of 40 chapters, with a total of 710 pages, the book covers most aspects related to the evaluation and management of dialysis patients. The information is clinically oriented and the book has kept the same format as the previous edition.
Purpose: As the title states, the intent is to cover the principles and practice of dialysis, while maintaining a balance between clarity, scholarship, and practicality. For example, out of the many good chapters, I liked in particular the ones on choosing the best dialysis options for patients with end-stage kidney disease (where peritoneal and hemodialysis are compared) or for patients with acute renal failure. This differentiates it from other books on dialysis. It is fairly inclusive, but not overly detailed compared to Clinical Dialysis, 4th edition, Nissenson and Fine (McGraw-Hill, 2005). Also, although the clinical decision making process is discussed, it's purpose is not to offer bedside, immediate answers, like Oxford Handbook of Dialysis, 3rd edition (Oxford University Press, 2009), or Handbook of Dialysis Therapy, 4th edition, Nissenson and Fine (Elsevier, 2008). Neither is it as technical as the Handbook of Dialysis, 4th edition (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2007), Daugirdas et al.
Audience: This is a valuable educational tool and desk reference for nephrologists, nephrology trainees, and dialysis staff. It can be used both by academicians and practicing clinicians. Of the more than 70 international contributors, some who are well known experts in the field, there are also specialists in neurology, clinical nutrition, ethics, pediatrics, and infectious diseases, as well as pharmacists.
Features: The black-and-white diagrams, drug charts, and tables are well executed and easy to follow, although the book would have benefited from more figures. The 15-page subject index is comprehensive and the reference lists are updated. A few standalone chapters have been eliminated and those topics included in other chapters (beta-2-microglobulin-associated amyloidosis of end-stage renal disease and recirculation in the hemodialysis access). Another chapter that was eliminated was on acquired cystic kidney disease in dialysis patients. Some of the important topics that were preserved from the previous edition include outcomes, quality of life, rehabilitation, and preparation for transplantation. The care of acute and chronic patients, children (two chapters), and the elderly, as well as peritoneal dialysis (three chapters) and hemodialysis patients are highlighted.
Assessment: This is a well-written and easy to read evidence-based review. For future editions, the editor should consider changing the order of a few chapters that seem to be out of sequence: infections in peritoneal dialysis patients, dialytic therapy for renal failure in diabetics, oxidative stress, and inflammation and immune dysfunction. Also, it may be worthwhile to add a few topics like peritoneal membrane physiology and access devices as well as complications during dialysis.