WAO Medical Book Review
Current therapy in Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology
Editors: Ed Lawrence Lichtenstein, William Busse, Raif Geha
Edition: Mosby 6th edition, 2004
Cost of Book: $99.95 USD
Reviewed by Constance H. Katelaris
Clinical Associate Professor
Institute for Immunology and Allergy Research
Westmead Hospital, Westmead, Australia.
Specialized texts such as this one are expensive ($99.00 USD) so the purchaser needs assurance of value for money when purchasing an addition to a personal reference library. It is very difficult for a text book to remain up to date and compete with the ready availability of the latest therapeutic strategies via on line journals and medical searches; therefore it must offer other advantages to attract a market.
This volume attempts to cover a very broad field in a relatively concise manner (443 pages). It is well structured with logical chapter headings and a standard index. There are treatment algorithms in many chapters, the one in the chapter on food allergy being particularly good. The stated aim of the text is to provide the clinician with practical advice on treatments rather than an exhaustive discussion on other aspects of diseases, and the various authors certainly keep to this brief.
One of the pitfalls of multiple-authored texts is a risk of repetition and this does occur - for example, penicillin desensitization is covered in two chapters with two protocols given.
Some chapters do not appear to have been updated with omission of more recent references. Complex subjects such as lupus nephritis are covered but there are many aspects of management that are either mentioned in passing or not covered at all.
Overall, while it does provide a reasonable summary of management for the common allergic and immunologic disorders and will be useful to students for provision of a comprehensive overview, I believe the experienced clinician will find many limitations in this text.
Available from various online sources including www.amazon.com