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WAO Medical Book Review

Posted: June 2011

Interpretation of Pulmonary Function Tests: A Practical Guide (Third Edition)
Written by Robert E. Hyatt, Paul D. Scanlon and Masao Nakamura
2008 Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
ISBN-10: 0-7817-7882-4

List Price: $82.50
Available at Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Reviewer:
MaiAnh Nguyen, MBBS
Immunology Registrar
Department of Immunology and Allergy
Liverpool Hospital
Liverpool, NSW, Australia

Description
Interpretation of Pulmonary Function Tests: A Practical Guide is an excellent summary text that equips the reader with skills to confidently interpret and understand pulmonary function tests.

Purpose
Pulmonary function testing is a commonly requested investigation, and despite its usefulness in patient care, the skills that are required to interpret the results are often not taught during medical school. This text successfully covers this topic using easy-to-understand explanations and examples.

Audience
This book is readily accessible to anyone interested in consolidating their knowledge on pulmonary physiology and testing, including students, medical professionals, allied health staff, and laboratory personnel.

Features
The book is divided into fifteen, well set-out chapters.

The first fourteen chapters are concise summaries of the fundamentals required to understand pulmonary function testing. These chapters cover basic respiratory physiology, arterial blood gas analysis, the procedure involved in testing, the meaning of measurements obtained, the use of bronchodilators during testing, bronchial challenge testing, and clinical indications for requesting tests, including indications for preoperative assessment. This updated version also includes sections on exhaled nitric oxide testing, and the forced oscillation technique for measuring respiratory system resistance.

The final chapter contains a comprehensive selection of cases, highlighting the wide variety of results that one may encounter. This chapter not only allows readers to practice the skills that they've acquired over the course of the first fourteen chapters, but also acts as a handy reference that can be referred to, when faced with an unusual test result.

Assessment
This handy and practical book is a worthwhile investment. It is highly recommended for all readers who may be involved in requesting, performing or interpreting pulmonary function tests. The simple explanations, copious diagrams and useful examples, favour quick and easy referencing and revision.