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Colour Atlas of Paediatric Endocrinology and Growth. By J Wales, A Rogol, and J Wit. (Pp 164; £55 hardback.) Mosby-Wolfe, 1996. ISBN 0-7234-2137-4.
There are few, if any, books related to paediatric endocrinology that can be recommended unequivocally. Given the pace at which paediatric endocrinology has expanded, notably because of very rapid progress in molecular biology, textbooks involving this subject become quickly obsolescent, therefore posing a greater challenge to the authors. This Colour Atlas of Paediatric Endocrinology and Growth tackles the subject courageously and with a different approach, mainly focusing on clinical aspects supported by lavish photographs. Unexpectedly, the text is thorough covering in detail the presenting signs, symptoms, differential diagnosis, and investigations while being very practical and avoiding superfluous information. It is written in a way which is easy to understand. Accompanying tables, clear growth charts, and appendices are simple to use and the most successful aspect of the book. They will certainly help unravel the subject and will act as a useful tool to memorise what ought to be retained by the reader. The illustrations act as the main lure for the buyer, allowing them effective visualisation of diseases and concepts described.
The paragraphs regarding treatment end pathophysiology are deliberately brief but clear. The book’s intended audience is junior doctors as well as the general paediatrician who can easily extract practical information during daily practice. It is unfortunate, and yet understandable with the quality and the quantity of the illustrations, that this small book is expensive. It would have been helped if the authors had provided a few key scientific references at the end of each chapter. To sum up, in spite of minor misgivings, this book is a publication of great distinction; practical, ambitious, but simple and without a hint of self importance.