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Pathology of the Esophagus

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Pathology of the Esophagus. K Takubo (Pp 299; illustrated). Japan: Educa, 2000. ISBN 4 87006 011 6.

While the oesophagus has provided much interest to physicians and surgeons, particularly since the advent of endoscopy, manometry, and pH monitoring, to many pathologists it remained a muscular tube of relative pathological disinterest. Perhaps compared with the stomach and the intestines there is a relative paucity of interesting pathological conditions to study. Barrett's oesophagus has certainly changed much of that perspective and the fact that entire books can now be devoted to the study of the pathology of the oesophagus serves to demonstrate an ever widening spectrum of pathological interest in the organ. This volume represents the first English translation of the second edition of this book, previously published in Japanese only. Dr Takubo's book follows the excellent, but now time expired, efforts of Drs Enterline and Thompson in producing a comprehensive pathological survey of the oesophagus. This book is certainly all inclusive and most comprehensive. It is quite beautifully illustrated, mainly in colour, and includes diverse pathological investigations such as cytology, immunohistochemistry, and electron microscopy to good effect. Most importantly, it is clinically relevant and the use of numerous endoscopic images will be of interest not only to practising endoscopists but also to pathologists and researchers.

Dr Takubo has developed an international reputation for his work in various aspects of the pathology of the oesophagus and his efforts in producing this book are to be applauded. Differences in the pathological assessment of tumours of the gut between Western and Japanese pathologists have recently been highlighted. In this book, inevitably favouring Japanese methodology, such differences are perhaps less marked, for the oesophagus at least, than other areas of the gut and these do not cause particular concern for a Western pathologist. The only slight irritations of this book are the references which are all lumped together at the end and I found referring to these a little labourious. Otherwise, I have no complaints. All those with a keen interest in diseases of the oesophagus will find this well written, well illustrated, and extremely well researched and referenced textbook an informed read and an invaluable source of reference. I thoroughly recommend it.