Reviewer: Valerie L Ng, PhD MD(Alameda County Medical Center/Highland Hospital)
Description: This 131-page softcover book is true to its title, containing the "essentials of clinical pathology." The first edition was published in 2010.
Purpose: The purpose is to concisely present laboratory medicine concepts and the theory of clinical laboratory procedures.
Audience: In the author's words, this book is intended for "undergraduate students of pathology" and postgraduate residents and students of medical laboratory technology. In the U.S., this would be medical students interested in pathology, and clinical laboratory science trainees and practitioners. It also would be helpful to laboratory medicine residents early in their training, and practitioners interested in a concise refresher. The author is a credible authority in this area.
Features: This book has three major sections clinical chemistry and other laboratory tests, laboratory hematology, and practical blood transfusion; as with the first edition, it does not include microbiology and genetics. This means that the traditional clinical pathology disciplines clinical chemistry, immunology, hematology, coagulation, urinalysis, blood bank, etc. in many conventional laboratory medicine books are contained within these three major sections. The first section discusses laboratory tests by disease state (e.g., renal function, diabetes mellitus, liver function, etc.), which would be consistent with how clinical practitioners (but not clinical laboratory scientists) "use" laboratory testing. The latter two sections flip the perspective with a primary focus on laboratory science and brief forays into associated clinical conditions. I really enjoyed the concise and accessible text, use of color, and standard formats. I especially appreciated the standalone chapter on laboratory tests in porphyrias. New to this edition are appendixes linking specific laboratory tests to clinical conditions. A few minor concerns. Illustrations instead of photomicrographs are used throughout; the latter (especially with total magnification) would be more realistic and relatable for trainees/students. There are some editorial misses inconsistent capitalization of L for liter (e.g. multiple instances of dl instead of dL), inserted figures disrupting the text, and some references with newer editions than those cited (e.g. Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics, 6th edition, Rifai et al. (Elsevier, 2018), Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods, 23rd edition, McPherson and Pincus (Elsevier, 2017)). Finally, some laboratory medicine practices in the author's setting are not common to the U.S., such as bleeding times, many of the manual urinalysis or hematology tests, etc.
Assessment: This is a great introductory book for medical or clinical laboratory science students, but readers must be aware that the discussion of laboratory testing for various clinical conditions may not be representative of clinical practice in their setting.