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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: P Anondo Stangl, MD (University of Colorado Health Sciences Center)
Description: This is an update of the classic Gamuts books familiar to just about everyone involved in radiology, last released in 1993. The new edition retains the expected structure of truly comprehensive lists of differential diagnoses that correspond to findings or patterns found on imaging studies.
Purpose: The authors have long espoused the "triangulation approach to radiographic diagnosis" which consists of accurate analysis of findings on an imaging study, reference to a well constructed list of matching differential diagnoses (a gamut), and correlation with clinical data to reach a single diagnosis or narrow the gamut. The book is intended to serve as "an unobtrusive consultant" that provides complete and accurate lists of differential diagnoses once the interpretation of the films is complete. As previous editions have done, this update meets those goals and brings the content up to date. The latest version has added over 250 new patterns and their gamuts, and updated more than 80 percent of the pre-existing gamuts. The majority of the new differentials are in ultrasound, MR body imaging, and head and neck imaging, reflecting modern techniques and utilization of radiology and significantly enhancing the book's utility.
Audience: As it has for many years, this edition of the book serves as a handy shelf reference for radiology residents and experienced imagers to refresh or extend differentials, into esoterica if necessary. Students or junior residents may find it overwhelming, supplying a potentially stupefying array of unfamiliar eponyms, syndromes and diagnoses. For more advanced residents and fellows, however, it can provide a valuable launching point for further study on the listed entities not well in grasp. The established stature of the chief authors and the addition of 20 section editors and consultants in various subspecialties uphold the longstanding credibility of the information provided.
Features: In a continued effort to provide comprehensive gamuts for the majority of imaging findings, content is limited to lists of diagnoses, nearly entirely without explanation. To do otherwise would be impossibly inaccessible. Despite the enormity of the undertaking, the organization is logical and prevents an unwieldy reference. Each differential is prioritized by incidence, letting exceedingly rare diagnoses fall to the end of the lists. Globally, the material is divided into nine anatomical sections, including gamuts for any relevant imaging modalities, prefaced by an list of the included gamuts that is easily scanned. Three additional sections cover multiple system disorders, including diseases encountered in developing nations, and dedicated sections to MR imaging, and obstetrical ultrasound with the same prefacing and prioritization of differentials. The index is understandably limited, given the scope of the text, and serves little purpose beyond the section-leading lists of gamuts.
Assessment: This new edition continues to serve as a valuable reference for, at times, astoundingly complete differential diagnoses. The addition of many new gamuts and updating of the old brings the classic book up to date and makes it valuable once again.