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I suspect that to the vast majority of gastrointestinal histopathologists, and probably to general histopathologists and endoscopists too, the idea of a book devoted solely to gastrointestinal polyps is appealing. After all, most endoscopists see such lesions every day and most pathologists will see at least one a week. Often a verdict of “hyperplastic” or “inflammatory” polyp is the best that can be offered but this diagnosis is not very satisfying for pathologist and clinician alike. Consequently, it was with eager anticipation and in the hope of transforming my approach to gastrointestinal polyps that I started to read this book.
As luck would have it, the slides for the EQA in gastrointestinal pathology had landed on my desk the previous day. They included at least two difficult polypoid lesions for which a diagnosis was currently eluding me. I thought that this book would be an ideal reference and turned to it for help. I was pleasantly surprised when the answer to my conundrum was available within minutes. A little while later I was approached by one of my SHOs with a question on the genetics of juvenile polyposis. After a short consultation of the book, I was able to give the answer confidently; no need for Internet searches this time.
This book is the first to my knowledge that deals solely with gastrointestinal polyps. It covers all regions of the gastrointestinal tract and is abundantly illustrated with endoscopic photographs and colour photomicrographs. For each type of polyp, descriptions of prevalence, endoscopic appearances, and pathological features are given, followed by discussion of biological behaviour and associated conditions. For some types of polyp, details of management strategies are also provided.
All of the authors are well known gastrointestinal pathologists with a wealth of experience in this field, so it is not surprising that they have managed to put together such a comprehensive text. I could not think of any entities they had omitted, and there were several that I had never heard of. Overall, the presentation of this book is of a high quality; the text is succinct but readable and, apart from a few exceptions, the illustrations are excellent.
This is primarily a diagnostic book and if it does have a defect it is in the descriptions of molecular biology and therapeutic approaches, which inevitably lack the detail that some purists would desire. This aside, the book will undoubtedly appeal to histopathologists and endoscopists alike, not only for the diagnostic details it provides, but also for the associated clinicopathological information. I have found it an ideal companion and am sure that others will think the same.
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