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2nd ed. Scully RE. (£49.50.) World Health Organisation, Springer, 1999. ISBN 3 540 64059 2.
The World Health Organisation's histological typing of ovarian tumours (second edition) aims to establish definitions of tumour types to aid worldwide uniformity and reporting of ovarian tumours.
This short book includes an extensive morphological classification, including FIGO and TNM systems, preceded by definitions and explanatory notes.
There then follows a collection of 150 half page (108 × 70 mm) predominantly full colour illustrations of each of the types outlined in the classification.
Most of the illustrations are excellent and help with newly described lesions, such as borderline serous tumours with a micropapillary pattern, and tricky types such as clear cell carcinoma with oxyphilic cytoplasm or containing bull's eye mucin accumulations. Occasionally, the illustrations are marred by section artefact or inconsistencies. Figure legend 98 asserts that yolk sac tumour can be distinguished from dysgerminoma by the presence of glandular spaces. Yet, fig 92 of a dysgerminoma shows similar spaces that resemble gland-like structures.
There is significant overlap with the AFIP fasicle on tumours of the ovary because the two publications share a common author. Unfortunately, every time an AFIP illustration is used the full reference is appended to the figure legend. This is unnecessarily repetitive.
It is convenient to be able to flick through the collection of illustrations but slightly tedious to refer to a preceding section for the text description. Nevertheless, this is an excellent graphical aid to correct tumour classification. It should be made available to anyone reporting ovarian surgical samples.