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Imaging in Paediatrics: a Casebook.By Kieran McHugh. (Pp 221; hardback £34.95) Oxford University Press, 1997. ISBN 0 19 262776 7 .
Paediatricians in training, especially those studying for their membership examinations, need to know about basic common problems in paediatric radiology. This is a question and answer book, in which a radiograph is shown on one side, with questions on the opposite page. The answers are also given, so it is easy to take a peek at them and cheat! The pictures are, for the most part, single images on which a diagnosis can be made. The opposite page contains a short text briefly describing the lesion, a pen picture of the condition, and, where relevant, further imaging that would be required radiologically to resolve a problem. At the bottom of each page there is a single or, at most, two references for further reading.
These images are produced in a matt finish form. For the most part they have been well reproduced, although it is inevitable with chest radiographs that some of the fine detail of the lung parenchyma and vascular pattern is lost, particularly in relation to neonatal chests, but this is not severe enough to prevent a diagnosis The publishers and the author are to be commended on this as it is actually quite rare to have reasonable reproduction of some of the subtleties of neonatal chest radiographs.
The book is divided into five sections covering a broad outline of conditions found in paediatric practice. Trauma has been largely excluded because this book is pitched at those studying for examinations rather than as a practical vade-mecum in day to day practice.
McHugh, in his introduction, has stated that the book would also be helpful for medical students to dip into during their paediatric rotation; I agree with this. It is a neat and succinct introduction to the major pathological conditions seen in children. It is not, and makes no attempt to be, a substitute for a textbook in paediatric radiology.
It fills a niche in the market. There are many similar textbooks available for adult radiology but this is only one of four that I know of which is about paediatric radiology, two of which were published many years ago. It will stand the test of time as the images portrayed in it are mainly plain films and these conditions do not change.
Inevitably, in reviewing books, you dip into them, checking for the presence of key conditions or, indeed, their absence. There are no major deficits in this book.
An hour spent browsing through this would be be an hour spent usefully and fruitfully and should provide some light relief for the end of a hard evening’s study in the library. Having read through it, one should come away wiser and better prepared for the examinations.