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The Esophagogastric Junction
  1. A J P M SMOUT

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The Esophagogastric Junction. Edited by Guili R, Galmiche J-P, Jamieson GG, Scarpignato C. (Pp 1592; illustrated; £118.00.) John Libbey Eurotext, 1998. ISBN 2-7420-0145-X.

This is a remarkable book, based on a remarkable meeting, organised by a remarkable Frenchman. Every three years the Parisian professor of surgery Robert Guili organises a meeting of the Organisation Internationale d’Etudes Statistiques pour les maladies de l’Oesophage (OESO). He then brings together in Paris almost everyone in the world who is actively involved in studies on oesophageal diseases. These lucky people contribute to the grandeur of the meeting by their mere presence, and by answering one or several of the hundreds of questions raised by Robert and the members of the permanent scientific committee of the OESO.

Last year’s meeting was devoted to the oesophagogastric junction, although this should not be taken too literally. Many of the chapters deal with aspects of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease in the broadest sense. It is truly amazing to see that 420 questions could be formulated, and perhaps even more surprisingly, that they all could be answered in one way or another. The result of this very substantial exercise is a book of 1592 pages—excluding a six page introduction and a 40 page contents section. The oeuvreprovides a shower of information. Understandably, the quality of the different contributions varies and overlap between them occurs frequently.

Nevertheless, I believe that most clinicians and investigators with a special interest in gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, Barrett’s metaplasia and oesophageal motility disorders would find this book useful. The book is a unique catalogue of researchers in these areas, and their views. Its price may be a problem to some, its weight to others. Knowing that Robert has managed to expand the book from a paultry 430 pages in 1995, via 512 pages in the early nineties to the present 1600+ pages, I do not dare to think of the issue for the year 2001. Perhaps some restriction should be exercised next time.