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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: David A. Ehrmann, MD (University of Chicago Medical Center)
Description: This multiauthored text is intended to encompass the biochemistry, molecular biology, physiology, pathophysiology, and clinical aspects of both the anterior and posterior pituitary.
Purpose: The text is divided into five sections: hypothalamic-pituitary function; hypothalamic-pituitary dysfunction; pituitary tumors; pituitary disease in systemic disorders; and diagnostic procedures. This structure, as well as the fact that the clinical and basic chapters within a given area (e.g., ACTH secretion) are authored by different individuals, artificially separates the clinical from the basic science aspects of pituitary disease. This structure also leads to significant redundancy in the text. On balance, there is a lesser emphasis on clinical aspects of pituitary disease.
Audience: The author wishes the text to serve the internist, obstetrician/gynecologist, and pediatrician at any level of training.
Features: The illustrations are generally good, but are too few in number. Color illustrations are lacking and photomicrographs are often poorly reproduced. The references are up-to-date and adequate in number. Although the topic of the clinically nonfunctioning pituitary tumor is discussed in the chapter on gonadotroph adenomas, this is not clear from the table of contents or the index. The most useful section of the book includes a discussion of the pituitary in pregnancy, the effect of eating disorders on pituitary function, and the effect of medications on pituitary function. Finally, the appendix of the evaluation of pituitary function is useful.
Assessment: Although there are several unique and useful features of this book, it will not entirely satisfy either clinician or basic scientist. Given the plethora of excellent textbooks of endocrinology that include most of what is covered here, there seems to be no obvious advantage to including this book in one's library.