Reviewer: Jens Goebel, MD (Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center)
Description: This is a concise summary of the current status of kidney transplantation, covering both pre- and post-transplant aspects of this treatment modality as well as the transplant operation itself.
Purpose: The book aims to provide a concise review of the current status of kidney transplantation and to help update professionals involved or interested in the field, ultimately leading to better care of kidney transplant recipients. These clearly worthy objectives are largely met. However, the book isn't required to meet them as other quality publications with similar content already exist.
Audience: According to the editor, the book is written for physicians, trainees, nurses and other professionals involved or interested in the care of patients with kidney disease and organ transplantation. As it is written in a quite concise and straightforward style, it should mostly help professionals in training, students, and even motivated patients or lay people get a focused overview of the field. The editor and the authors (at least the senior authors of each chapter) certainly are preeminent authorities in the field.
Features: The book covers several important areas in kidney transplantation, beginning with pre-transplant consideration both of recipients and of donors. The actual surgery, again both of the donor and the recipient, is also covered, as are post-transplant aspects of importance to overall and especially long-term outcome. Emphasis is placed on providing current, state-of-the-art information, and predictions as to further developments on the horizon are made. The currency of the information is definitely a strength of this book, as is its conciseness. It is noteworthy that the chapter on transplantation immunology mentions cyclosporine several times without noting the closely related tacrolimus, which is increasingly replacing the former. A strong and somewhat unique feature of the book is the spectrum of its contributors, ranging from immunologists through transplant surgeons to transplant nephrologists, thus providing many complementary perspectives.
Assessment: The book provides good, entry-level reading about kidney transplantation. How much it will help improve patient care is less clear, as similar but more detailed publications, such as Danovitch's Handbook of Kidney Transplantation, 3rd Edition (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2001), are probably equally current but more helpful as an actual resource in practice.