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The Inflammatory Bowel Disease Yearbook 2004
  1. S Ghosh

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Edited by C N Bernstein. London: Remedica Publishing Ltd, 2003, £25.00, pp 200. ISBN 1901346579

This is the second edition of an annual update on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Yearbooks are useful resources for quickly catching up with a field, “Readers Digest” style. Being concise as well as giving coverage of the advances of the entire field in a year are therefore requisites for success. This yearbook is certainly concise and can be finished cover to cover within a Glasgow to London train trip. Six essays constitute the entire book, covering pathogenesis, clinical, molecular, and serological subtyping of Crohn’s disease, nutritional therapy, surgical management, cancer in IBD, and osteoporosis. The essays are written conventionally and do not necessarily cover advances within the past year or two. Indeed, in some chapters there is a predominance of references from the 1990s or even earlier. The chapter on surgical management is superb and the chapter on cancer in IBD comprehensive.

The field of IBD is now replete with review articles and most of the topics chosen in this yearbook are already well served by review articles published within the last year. In addition, there are now at least four major textbooks focused on IBD and several monographs. Omission of the major advances in biological therapies and other molecular targets of therapy is a significant one, and advances in this area are so rapid as to consider this to be a rolling topic each year.

A general gastroenterologist or even an internist might want to read this as a quick update on IBD but might fail to feel fully updated unless he acquires a volume each year. Many would focus on the excellent quality reviews now being regularly published in all leading gastroenterology journals. However, this volume is easy to read from cover to cover and would slip easily into one’s briefcase for portable reading. In future, this volume may better serve its purpose by publishing very short updates on a wider range of topics, strictly focusing on original papers published within the past two years.

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