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Gastrointestinal Endosonography. Edited by Van Dam J, Sivak MV. (Pp 298; illustrated; £95.00.) UK: W B Saunders & Company, 1999. ISBN 0 7216 7989 7.
This is a collection of work by 31 predominantly North American, European, and Japanese gastroenterologists, digestive surgeons, and radiologists. The list of authors includes leading figures in the field of digestive endosonography, namely those who took part in the development of the first pieces of equipment and who described the basic principles of endoscopic ultrasound, and the new generation of practitioners responsible for the most recent developments in this area, particularly the introduction of the endoscopic ultrasound guided puncture. This collective work is complete and exhaustive: it is in large format and divided into seven sections, supplemented by a very detailed and helpful index.
The book is a popular work and the teaching material it contains is very practical, detailed, and useful for beginners. However, the book relies on the experiences of the expert authors, which I find to be of much less interest. Much of their experience is now outdated and there is little scope for discussion of other practices. It contains few illustrations of variable quality. I find it strange that colour Doppler and endoscopic images are grouped at the beginning of the book and reproduced in black and white in appropriate chapters.
In summary, this is a book of high quality work with some good illustrations. The division between the technical sections and those on anatomy is well balanced, which is original to this type of work and is very informative. A number of chapters are extremely useful, particularly those on the linear array echoendoscope and portal hypertension. Some areas covered have less impact, particularly those concerned with the authors' different experiences of gastro-oesophageal and retroperitoneal pathology. Generally, retroperitoneal endosonography is poorly covered; biliary echoendoscopy is not discussed at all. This significant gap is an invitation to other authors to publish a work dedicated to biliopancreatic echoendoscopy; a useful supplement to the work of doctors van Dam and Sivak.
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