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The Radiology of Emergency Medicine, 4th Edition FREE TO VIEW

Bruce Turlington, MD
Chest. 2003;123(2):658. doi:10.1378/chest.123.2.658-a
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By John H. Harris Jr., MD, and William H. Harris, MD, eds. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2000; 958 pp; $189.00

The fourth edition of John H. Harris’ book, The Radiology of Emergency Medicine, is truly a classic radiology text. It has been the definitive literary reference for the subspecialty of emergency radiology, which seems to have an ever-expanding role in the management of emergency department patients. From the perspective of radiologists, it would seem that very few patients get through the doors of an emergency department these days without some type of imaging study.

In this day of high-tech tests, the fourth edition still places a somewhat refreshing emphasis on conventional radiography. I believe this is important, as conventional radiography still constitutes about 80% of emergency radiology imaging studies. With that said, the book has done a very good job in keeping pace with the newer imaging modalities of CT scanning, MRI, and ultrasound. For readers of CHEST, I specifically concentrated on the 144-page chapter on thoracic radiology. This includes extensive discussions of traumatic and nontraumatic conditions, with excellent sections on inflammatory processes and congestive heart failure. There are excellent discussions on the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism, including the role of CT pulmonary angiography, aortic dissection (CT scanning and MRI), and acute traumatic aortic injury (CT scanning).

The text of the book is well-written, organized, and referenced (226 cited references for the “Chest” chapter). I very much appreciated Harris’ practical approach to the subject matter, and his many years of clinical experience are quite apparent in this book. Dr. Harris has authored most of the chapters, with excellent ones on neuroradiology written by Dr. Mauricio Castello, abdominal CT scanning written by Dr. Clark West, and obstetrics/gynecology and scrotal ultrasound written by Dr. Robert Harris, the author’s son, who is also now included as an editor. The book is beautifully illustrated, with numerous excellent reproductions of radiographs and other imaging modalities, along with high-quality schematic diagrams. I found that the algorithms and tables complemented the text and illustrations quite well without being overutilized.

As a practicing radiologist, this would be the one reference I would choose to help me with the interpretation of emergency radiology studies. The Radiology of Emergency Medicine is a text that belongs in every radiology department library, and probably every emergency medicine department. For the individual pulmonary specialist, the content of the text may be too broad to warrant having it in one’s personal library. However, I believe it would definitely be a worthwhile addition to the library of any pulmonary medicine department.




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