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Pediatric Radiology. By Joanna J Seibert, Charles A James. (Pp 633 paperback.) Thieme, 1998. ISBN 0-86577-697-0.
Putting together a book of radiology cases is fraught with difficulties. Should the cases be of rare and unusual conditions that one might come across once in a working lifetime so that one may recognise them, or should most of the cases be of the more mundane variety to reinforce the appearance and details of cases we are exposed to regularly? The answer is of course both and getting the right balance is a difficult task. The authors of this collection of cases do strike a comfortable balance and have obviously thought carefully about which cases to include. They have included cases from all fields of paediatric radiology and have used a broad spectrum of imaging modalities from plain radiographs to complex interventional procedures.
The layout is impressive and easy to read. The book is divided into several body systems with a section on syndromes and interventional radiology. Each case has a useful subsection of “pearls”, “pitfalls”, and “controversy”, which include relevant facts about a condition, the imaging problems incurred, and caveats about making the diagnosis using the imaging techniques shown. This is well constructed and makes extracting new information about an otherwise common condition easier than ploughing through accompanying text. Each case is accompanied by an impressive list of references.
As with any radiology text the reproduction of images is a disappointment. Plain radiographs and ultrasound images do not lend themselves to textbook images, which is frustrating and does let down several of the cases.
Radiology trainees, particularly those interested in paediatric radiology, stand to gain most from reading this book. Although paediatricians would find it enjoyable and informative, its relevance to their day to day practice would be limited.