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The Inflammatory Bowel Disease Yearbook 2003
  1. D van Heel

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Edited by C Bernstein. London: Remedica Publishing Ltd, 2003, £60.00, pp 179. ISBN ISBN 1-901346-57-9

This is the first in a planned yearly series of updates on the latest topics in inflammatory bowel disease clinical practice and research. I was initially sceptical that the hard backed book format could provide a reasonably current overview but was pleasantly surprised that the reviews were topical and cited papers from early 2003 (including for example, the natalizumab trial and wireless endoscopy data). These are aimed at the general gastroenterologist, and those with a more in depth clinical or research interest in inflammatory bowel disease.

Six key current areas are reviewed by experts in the field: conventional drug therapy, the newer biological therapies, serodiagnostics, genetics, imaging developments, and probiotics. These topics are written by authors expert in the field, and there is little overlap between the chapters—often a problem in the multiauthor format. I would have preferred more detail in a few areas (for example, pharmacology/adverse response prediction with azathioprine) and a bit less in others (for example, some of the genetics chapter is too detailed, and it was not easy to differentiate replicated from preliminary findings). All chapters are well referenced, with good tables and figures of key points providing clarity.

The Yearbook disappeared once from my shelf while I was trying to review it—to provide preparation for a colleague’s brush with the media spotlight—so I would definitely recommend it as a useful update. It might be especially helpful if one had missed out on attending a recent gastroenterology conference. Finally, Remedica might be able to further promote the Yearbook with a prize for guessing the nature and relevance of the weird industrial plumbing on the cover.

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