Reviewer: Anne G. Osborn, MD (University of Utah School of Medicine)
Description: Although Imaging of the Head and Neck is ostensibly in its first edition, it is really a revised, updated, and renamed version of Valvassori's Head and Neck Imaging, first published by Thieme in 1988.
Purpose: The new book has been expanded and updated to reflect developments in head and neck imaging, with a particular emphasis on MR applications. New authors have been recruited for the chapters on paranasal sinus disorders, the skull base, and soft tissues of the neck; brand-new chapters on the orbit, mandible, and special ultrasound applications have been added.
Audience: The target audience for this book is clearly clinicians and radiologists who specialize in head and neck imaging. It is most definitely not for residents or generalists and best serves as a reference text.
Features: In general, the illustrations are excellent, although the persistent inclusion of some older-generation CT scans (especially in the chapters on paranasal sinuses and nose) detracts from the overall impression. The references also seem dated, with few 1993 citations and almost nothing included from more recent years. New techniques (such as MR angiography) are only briefly illustrated; when angiograms are included, they are often suboptimal (unsubtracted or film subtraction). The chapter on salivary glands emphasizes the use of sialography, a technique with only very limited application in the high-resolution CT/MR era. Now for some specifics. The chapters on eye and orbit are especially fine. Although they do not include ocular ultrasound, the elegant MR scans and thorough discussions more than compensate for this deficiency. The temporal bone chapters, though excellent, are of necessity more superficial than another Thieme book, by Joel Swartz and H. Ric Harnsberger, Imaging of the Temporal Bone. Nice color otoscopic photos and both shaded and line drawings accompany many of the CT scans. Shortcomings include the lack of ultra-high resolution MR sequences that now obviate the necessity for contrast enhancement in approximately 90% of screening acoustic neuroma studies. The suprahyoid and infrahyoid neck chapters are quite brief and seem mere derivatives of the elegant work previously published by authors such as Harnsberger and Curtin.
Assessment: Despite its shortcomings, I recommend this book for the excellent features described above.