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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Michael P Maddens, MD (William Beaumont Hospitals)
Description: This book explains and describes the pathophysiology, structure, function, and related pulmonary tests of the major categories of lung disease and illness. It first describes pulmonary tests and measurements used to explain and quantify lung disease. It then proceeds to categorically address all major categories of disease processes, using solid figures and graphs to illustrate needed points as well as including pictures and micrographs to tie in pathology. The sixth edition was published in 2003.
Purpose: The purpose is to teach pulmonary pathophysiology to second year medical students and to provide a concise review for physicians further in their medical training. Dr. West adequately attains these goals in this concise book.
Audience: Dr. West is an internationally recognized expert in pulmonology. His book is a great source of information for medical students who aspire to become great physicians. He neatly, concisely, and appropriately describes the major points of pathophysiology pertinent to pulmonary medicine. Further, the book serves as a wonderful review for residents and practicing physician alike.
Features: The book begins by explaining pulmonary function tests and their importance to understanding lung physiology and disease processes. It does refer heavily to his physiology book Respiratory Physiology: The Essentials, 7th edition, (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2004), but it covers material above the basic physiology in a very complete manner. The book then proceeds to break down lung diseases by discussing obstructive, restrictive, vascular, and environmental diseases with complete chapters devoted to each area. It concludes with the major topics of respiratory failure, oxygen, and mechanical ventilation. Lastly, three appendixes which are used to address references, lab normal values, and the answers to the review questions at the end of every chapter which serve as a wonderful assessment of understanding of each chapter's key points. Throughout the book, Dr. West uses black, white, and red charts, in text highlights and pictures to illustrate the major points.
Assessment: This book does a great job of addressing the major points of pathophysiology relating to pulmonary medicine. Although it uses strong graphs and illustrations, the book could be improved by color pictures. It does a strong job addressing the structure and function link that is the center of pathophysiology, but limits its reach into treatment of these diseases for the benefit of conciseness. I would recommend this book to second year medical students as a useful guide to pulmonary pathophysiology as a building block to their clinical training.