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Interpretation of Pulmonary Function Tests: A Practical Guide, 2nd Edition FREE TO VIEW

Farah K. Madhani, MD
Chest. 2004;125(6):2372-2373. doi:10.1378/chest.125.6.2372-a
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By Robert E. Hyatt, Paul D. Scanlon, and Masoa Nakamura. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, 2003; 200 pp; $39.95

This book is precisely what the title states: a manual that can be followed in order to analyze pulmonary function tests. The text starts with the basics of spirometry; as the chapters unfold, all aspects of pulmonary function testing are covered, including diffusing capacity and respiratory pressure measurements. The book also has some “bonus” chapters, such as evaluation of pulmonary function testing for preoperative management, the analysis of arterial blood gases, and a final chapter incorporating 45 clinical case presentations with interpretations. Furthermore, an index lists common diseases along with corresponding pages in the text containing pertinent material, a much-appreciated added reference for the reader.

Hyatt and coauthors incorporate clinical vignettes when explaining different aspects of pulmonary function testing, and conclude the major subject headings with a “pearl” that summarizes the topic just covered. The graphic illustrations are simplified in a way that aids in understanding the more difficult aspects of pulmonary function testing for the not-so-physiologically or mathematically inclined, as in the chapter on resistance and compliance. However, these simplifications can also frustrate the reader who might be better versed in the topic. Where appropriate, the authors include explanations of pertinent measurement techniques. For instance, the chapter covering static lung volumes contains brief explanations of nitrogen washout, inert gas dilution, body plethysmography, and the radiologic methods, with accompanying cartoon graphics, prior to launching into the material on interpretation. The chapter on bronchodilators and bronchial challenge testing was the most thorough effort by the authors, guiding the reader through every aspect of these tests, including indications, procedures, and analysis.

Interpretation of Pulmonary Function Tests: A Practical Guide, 2nd Edition is targeted to an audience wanting to know more than the basics of pulmonary function testing, as might have been acquired during an internal medicine residency. Consequently, the readership would include internists in private practice, beginning pulmonary fellows, or respiratory therapists. This is also a good first book for the novice, serving as a comprehensive introduction to the practical aspects of pulmonary function testing.




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