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Chronic Obstructive Lung Diseases FREE TO VIEW

Christopher M. Stafford, MD; Dennis E. Amundson, DO, FCCP
Chest. 2002;122(6):2270. doi:10.1378/chest.122.6.2270
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By Norbert F. Voelkel, MD, and William MacNee, MBChB, MD, FRCPC, FRCPE, eds. Hamilton, ON: BC Decker, 2002; 428 pp; $99.95

Chronic Obstructive Lung Diseases is a hardbound textbook divided into 29 chapters, with over 50 contributing international authors. The editors have compiled an authoritative, comprehensive reference that reviews virtually every aspect of obstructive lung disease. Beginning with Dr. Voelkel’s first chapter on the historical perspective of chronic lung disease, this well referenced and timely text is filled with information, and it presents challenges for research and future study in COPD.

Not for the faint-at-heart, the first one third of the text provides a thorough analysis of normal lung structure and function. All chapters are replete with cutting-edge molecular and biochemical aspects of lung growth, repair, and injury. Prenatal lung development, airway epithelium, mucus, mucus-secreting cells, surfactant, and small and large airway diseases are discussed extensively, with a focus on normal and abnormal physiology. There is an emphasis on emphysema as a major entity, and selected genetic abnormalities are also given individual attention. Most chapters include black and white photomicrographs, diagrams, and tables that are effective for illustrative purposes. An excellent bibliography, containing a wealth of references, concludes each chapter. The comprehensive nature of the material in these introductory chapters may be daunting for the busy, practicing pulmonologist.

The second two thirds of the text are more clinically oriented; they focus on aspects of infection (bacterial and viral), pulmonary function tests, imaging, and the clinical management of routine and severe obstructive lung disease and its complications, such as pulmonary hypertension, cor pulmonale, and lung cancer. Highlights include an excellent chapter devoted to obstructive lung diseases, other than emphysema and chronic bronchitis, grouped by anatomic site, eg, upper airway, trachea, large and small airways. Newer aspects of lung volume reduction surgery, including the National Emphysema Treatment Trial, lung transplantation, and a review of the benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation, are included. The book ends with a discussion of lung cancer screening and lung protective strategies.

A strength of the text is the emphasis on radiologic-pathological correlation, which may not be available in less definitive works. Particularly noteworthy is the addition of a CD-ROM version of the text, included at no additional charge. The disk is easy to use (even for the computer novice) and provides a PDF-format version of the entire text, including color photos and micrographs.

Given the increasing population of patients with chronic obstructive lung disease, a brief chapter reviewing preoperative pulmonary evaluation might be a helpful addition for future editions. Furthermore, the use of color for photomicrographs and bronchoscopy photographs within the hardbound text rather than just in the CD-ROM could enhance recognition and learning.

Overall, Chronic Obstructive Lung Diseases is sound reading material that captures the subject well and is presented by noted experts in the field. We recommend this text as a current review that can serve as a valuable, definitive reference for academic as well as practicing pulmonologists.




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