Reviewer: Sherry Krawitz, BSc, MD, PhD, BA, MA (University of Manitoba College of Medicine)
Description: This is the second edition of a comprehensive book on surgical neuropathology in the Diagnostic Pathology series that covers neoplastic and nonneoplastic disease of the central and peripheral nervous systems. Since the first edition in 2012, there has been an explosion of new methods and advances in all aspects of neuropathology. New contributors have joined the original authors for substantial revisions of the original chapters.
Purpose: The aim was to provide the necessary updates in radiological, clinical, morphological, and molecular aspects of nervous system disease while continuing in the tradition of the original authors Peter Burger and Bernd Scheithauer. This meant merging a strong grounding in routine hematoxylin and eosin morphology with new methodologies to produce an up-to-date reference that would be practical, user-friendly, and visually stunning.
Audience: This will appeal to practicing pathologists at all levels residents, fellows, academics, and private practitioners. Neurologists, neurosurgeons, and oncologists also will be lured by and benefit from the accessible text and superb illustrations.
Features: The book is divided into two parts covering neoplastic and nonneoplastic diseases. The neoplastic part is divided into sections by anatomic regions and also includes familial tumor syndromes. It is especially convenient that the major chapters on gliomas, choroid plexus tumors, neuronal and glioneuronal tumors, pineal tumors, and embryonal tumors mirror the sequence of these entities in the new WHO Classification of Tumours of the Central Nervous System, 4th rev. edition, Louis et al. (World Health Organization, 2016). The simultaneous appearance of this book with the new WHO classification makes it not only a welcome addition, but an essential complement to the WHO handbook. A special section on "What is New" since the last WHO update provides a concise and accurate overview. Each chapter opens with "Key Facts" and subsequently expands on these facts with key details and practical points, all presented in list format. Differential diagnosis is a consistent entry. Especially helpful is a "Diagnostic Checklist" offering "Pathologic Interpretation Pearls" in every chapter. References form part of each chapter, adding to the ease of use. The book is illustrated by images that include radiology, gross, and microscopic photographs, as well as occasional diagrams and tables. Each chapter concludes with an expanded library of images of excellent quality and unparalleled range, complete with informative captions. The book thus functions as both textbook and sumptuous atlas - there are close to 1,700 images. The section on pituitary lesions deserves special mention for its thorough review, tables, and ample illustrations beyond what is normally seen in a neuropathology book. The nonneoplastic part follows the same format as the neoplastic part, with the result that the book explains and illustrates nearly everything that can be surgically resected, including cysts, infectious diseases, other inflammatory diseases, and noninflammatory reactive conditions. Vascular lesions and diseases are also covered.
Assessment: The authors have succeeded in producing a book that is a reliable resource and a joy to read. It is clearly the product of collaborative effort by experts and is a special achievement in a crowded field. The book emphasizes morphology as the starting point for neuropathology and also incorporates the latest developments in molecular diagnostics. This book merges the old with the new. It stands alone in its own right, but its appearance at the same time as the new edition of the WHO classification publication allows it to expand upon and more fully illustrate the WHO handbook. The illustrations are copious and of outstanding quality. They are all informative and some of them are breathtaking. The book will serve at daily sign-out and enhance teaching activities. Neuropathologists at every level will be rewarded and delighted by it. It is also highly recommended for any medical student, trainee, staff physician, or basic scientist with an interest in lesions of the central and peripheral nervous systems.