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New Techniques in Gastrointestinal Imaging
  1. A Graham

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Edited by S Halligan, H M Fenlon. New York: Published by Marcel Dekker Inc, 2004, pp 431.

Many areas of radiology are rapidly developing new techniques to answer clinical problems or devising ways of refining current imaging techniques. Gastrointestinal imaging is no exception.

New Techniques in Gastrointestinal Imaging has been edited and written by experts in the field from the international community and encompasses the more recent developments in all aspects of gastrointestinal imaging. The book has been divided into chapters that either concentrate on a particular imaging technique (for example, computed tomography (CT) colonography) or those that cover recent developments in the investigation of a particular area (for example, the rectum). There are very comprehensive chapters covering the new CT and magnetic resonance (MR) techniques available for imaging the colon and small bowel. New CT and MR techniques for hepatic imaging are also included, with special reference to the development of CT angiography. There are excellent chapters on the use of microbubbles in ultrasound (US) and endoscopic US, both of which are good introductions to these techniques for those with limited previous knowledge or experience. Also included is a very useful chapter on positron emission tomography (PET) with a gentle introduction to the physics of the technique and current applications and limitations. New interventional imaging techniques are also covered, with chapters on radiofrequency ablation of liver lesions and on self expanding metallic stents in the colon.

I was however dismayed to find a section on defecating proctography, a technique I had rather hoped had been consigned to history. The current method seems to have changed little from my days as a junior registrar banished to the barium room although new MR techniques are described.

This book has been written to update the general radiologist in areas of gastrointestinal radiology that have changed significantly in recent times. This it does very well, with concise descriptions of the techniques, thorough discussions on clinical use, and handy tips on image interpretation. As such, there are chapters in the book that need some background knowledge of radiological techniques to appreciate the new developments (for example, CT and MR chapters on liver imaging). However, all chapters provide a good setting for each of the new techniques so that the interested gastroenterologist would find useful information on the current role of each investigation, its performance with relation to more established techniques, and future developments.

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