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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Valerie L. Ng, PhD MD(Alameda County Medical Center/Highland Hospital)
Description: This is a comprehensive book on protein electrophoresis and clinical diagnosis. This is the fourth revision; the previous version was published in 2003.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide instruction on the use of protein electrophoresis of serum, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid in clinical diagnosis. These very worthy objectives are well met.
Audience: Although the author does not specify the intended audience, the previous version was directed at those who interpret electrophoresis gels. This version would appeal to this same audience (i.e., laboratory personnel performing and interpreting protein electrophoresis) as well as pathologists/laboratory medicine practitioners providing clinical consultation on these results and the broad base of "customers" who order these tests and want to better understand methodology, interpretation, and clinical use (e.g., medical students, primary care providers, clinical hematologists/oncologists, etc.). The author is a well-respected authority in this field.
Features: This comprehensive book includes anything you might ever want to know about protein electrophoresis. Despite it having one-third fewer pages than the previous version, it remains equally (if not more) detailed. This version has seamlessly incorporated technological advances, including capillary electrophoresis, immunosubtraction, and a brief mention of the clinical utility of serum free light chain testing, while retaining historical methods (e.g., Ouchterlonies) for historical continuity. The pictures and images are absolutely gorgeous. The electrophoretic gels are displayed in full color (blue- or purple-stained bands), the nuances of minor restricted bands fully apparent, and spectrophotometric tracings and quantification accompanying the gels. All but the last chapter discuss each of the various topics in great depth. I really appreciate that, in many of the chapters, Dr. Keren includes his opinions ("I would do...") on cases that are not straightforward. This is analogous to "how I would treat..." expert guidance now commonly provided by professional societies. Finally, the last chapter contains 47 case studies — perfect for use with residency or fellowship training.
Assessment: You need this book if you perform protein electrophoresis. Get it.