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Pediatric Pulmonary Pearls FREE TO VIEW

Carin Lamm, MD
Chest. 2002;121(6):2086. doi:10.1378/chest.121.6.2086-a
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By Laura S. Inselman, MD. Philadelphia, PA: Hanley & Belfus, Inc., 2001; 230 pp; $45.00

Pediatric Pulmonary Pearls is a worthwhile book that explores and illuminates clinically relevant topics in pediatric pulmonology. The author is an experienced practicing pediatric pulmonologist at the Alfred I. Dupont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE, and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, PA. In this volume, she focuses on 70 clinical vignettes of patients with respiratory diseases in a manner similar to that used during patient rounds. This quite readable format includes history, physical findings, important laboratory parameters, and numerous, clearly displayed illustrations of radiographs and CT scans. The reader can follow along with each case, formulate his or her own impressions, and consider various therapeutic options. Each vignette highlights an important issue, with pertinent discussion and references to current literature. Following the discussion, the key points demonstrated in the case are summarized as the “clinical pearls.”

Dr. Inselman covers a spectrum of clinical topics ranging from the common to the esoteric. Consequently, this volume would interest clinicians at all levels, both in primary care and in pediatric pulmonology. The vignettes provide the reader with practical information derived from clinical experience as well as the medical literature, thus complementing traditional reference materials such as textbooks or journals. The cases include patients that range in age from 1 day to 19 years and adequately represent the type of case material seen by practicing pediatric pulmonologists. For example, a pediatric pulmonologist frequently consults on children who wheeze, and it is often said, “all that wheezes is not asthma.” In fact, Dr. Inselman presents 20 different patients who wheeze, each representing different diagnoses ranging from cystic fibrosis to foreign-body aspiration.

Although it does not detract significantly from the overall quality and strength of the work, the reader may not find the table of contents to be user-friendly. In contrast, the index in the back consists of bolded page references that provide direction to particularly relevant cases as well as nonbolded page references that lead the reader to all of the vignettes that touch on that issue in any way.

In summary, Pediatric Pulmonary Pearls is an engaging collection of clinical vignettes that are clearly presented and are accompanied by meaningful and useful teaching points. Thus, it provides a helpful review for the practicing physician that can also be used as a handy reference.




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