WAO Medical Book Review
Posted: February 2014
Clinical Aspects, Diagnosis, Mechanisms, Structure-Activity Relationships
By Brian A. Baldo, Nghia H. Pham
2013 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
ISBN: 978-1-4614-7260-5 (print)
ISBN: 978-1-4614-7261-2 (online)
Retail Price: $199.00 / €160.64 / £136.50
Available from: Springer
Juan Carlos Aldave, MD
Hospital Nacional Edgardo Rebagliati Martins
Division of Allergy and Immunology
The term "drug allergy" encompasses several types of immune-mediated reactions against drugs or their metabolites and can affect up to 2% of the general population and 20% of hospitalized patients. Most reactions are unpredictable, may occur within minutes to several weeks or months after drug exposure and can vary from mild to fatal reactions. The incidence of drug allergy has increased worldwide, representing an important cause of morbidity and mortality and a significant public health issue. Appropriate management of subjects with drug allergy can significantly improve quality of life, prevent major complications, and reduce socioeconomic burden.
Despite the recent advances in medicine, an important proportion of patients with drug allergy remain undiagnosed or inappropriately managed. An additional group of subjects are falsely labeled as "drug allergic", compromising their quality of life unnecessarily. As a need to overcome these problems, the current book offers valuable knowledge regarding mechanisms, clinical aspects, diagnostic methods, and therapeutic approach in drug allergy, which will aid the caring physician to successfully diagnose and manage affected individuals.
The book content is organized into 14 chapters. Chapter number one describes general aspects and definitions about drug adverse reactions, including allergy. The second chapter explains the classification of drug hypersensitivity, whose mechanisms are described in chapter number 3. Conventional and novel diagnostic methods in drug allergy are reviewed in chapter number 4, including the indications, advantages and limitations of skin tests, in vitro tests, and drug challenges. It is emphasized that correct diagnosis is critical for drug allergy management and prevention. Finally, chapters 5 to 14 provide specific information about allergy to ?-lactam antibiotics, other antimicrobial drugs, drugs and other agents used in anesthesia and surgery, opioid analgesic drugs, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, contrast media, biologics, corticosteroids, chemotherapeutic agents and proton pump inhibitors. The summary points at the end of each chapter represent an outstanding feature of this book.
Assessment and Audience
As a comprehensive overview of the mechanisms, clinical manifestations and diagnostic methods in drug allergy will provide valuable and practical information for every physician interested in this disease.