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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Matthew J. Bassignani, MD (University of Virginia Health Sciences Center)
Description: This second edition of a book first published in 1990 details interpretation of the abdominal radiograph from a pattern approach. The book addresses an art that may fall out of favor given today's emphasis on cross- sectional imaging modalities.
Purpose: Initial chapters describe the uses, limitations, and technical considerations of abdominal radiography. The evaluation of gas patterns, masses, and calcifications in the abdomen follows. The bulk of the chapters examine in great detail the organs and regions within the abdomen seen on abdominal radiography. An innovative chapter on surgical radiodensities concludes the book.
Audience: Although the authors' audience seems to be radiologists in large facilities, I believe general radiologists would benefit as well. Radiology residents would find it a helpful review. Also, our medical and surgical colleagues may find it a useful reference.
Features: The authors provide a thorough examination of abdominal radiographic interpretation. The depth of their discussion into the meaning of various radiographic patterns proves their expertise. Teaching points are illustrated copiously. Some chapters had few to no up-to-date references. References are lacking in many areas that require further classification. Despite abundant images, some were mislabeled, while others were so dark that the pathologic entity could not be identified. Finally, some images were so magnified that the lines making up the image were discernible and distracting.
Assessment: This book would be a useful addition to a radiology resident's library. However, when grappling with the high cost of radiology books, I can only offer that texts by Laufer and Levine and Eisenberg address many of the issues found in this book. The limitations described above must be considered in this context. I would suggest the wisest approach to any consumer is to preview each of these books before making a choice.