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Paediatric Urology. 3rd Ed. Edited by Barry O’Donnell and Stephen A Koff. (Pp 873; £150 hardback.) Butterworth-Heinemann, 1997. ISBN 0-7506-1365-3.
I was pleased to see this text has been recently published. Barry O’Donnell and Stephen A Koff have brought together European and North American authors and the result represents the fusion of current thought in this subject. The approach, unlike many texts with an introductory chapter followed by encyclopaedia-like single subject discussion, is more fundamental. The first half of the text deals with the underlying pathophysiology and embryology and how this leads us to understand neuromuscular motility dysfunction of the upper and lower tract and the consequent disturbances of renal function.
The second half of the text deals more conventionally with the diagnosis and management of upper tract and bladder disease and malformation. There are times when this leads to more than one section of the book discussing the same subject, albeit from a different approach, but I found that this arrangement allowed a better expression of recent advances in our understanding of the processes which have changed our management of urological problems in children. Controversial subjects such as hypospadias have been discussed in multiauthor chapters with comments from other authors and that improves balance. Technically the book is well presented with clear, well labelled figures which appear close to the text to which they refer.
I think this text represents a useful addition to the paediatric urology literature currently available. It is the first entirely new text for some time and it is particularly useful in its synthesis of process and disease and European and North American ideas. It has been produced with sufficient rapidity that chapters are up-to-date and the emphasis on the process of disease will keep the text current for longer than many. I am pleased to have it among my collection and know that it has been individually purchased by a surprising number of my colleagues, for whom textbooks often hold little interest.
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