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Smoller BR, Horn TD. (£110.00.) Oxford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0 19 513038 3
First, and lasting impression: what a beautiful book this is! Drs Smoller and Horn are to be congratulated on a piece of very fine work indeed. Dermatopathology in Systemic Disease provides a detailed, well illustrated, clearly described, and well referenced review of a difficult and often highly complex field of diagnostic dermatopathology. The wealth of data is made accessible by well subdivided texts, attractive tables, and generally excellent micrographs. The use of a similar structure of the texts for individual items enhances the accessibility of the data. The detailed index further ensures quick reference of the relevant descriptions and illustrations.
The illustrations, in colour throughout, and almost all of the same size as the text column width, are perhaps a bit smaller than would be ideal; this is however something of a general trend in modern pathology textbooks (small colour pictures), a trend that I feel is not to be applauded at all!
The emphasis of the book, and its strength, is directed towards diagnostic histopathology; texts on pathogenesis are often very brief and (for example, lupus erythematosus; various connective tissue diseases) not always do justice to the large volume of data that have become available on these subjects. But in view of the emphasis on diagnostic rather than pathobiological aspects (to such an extent that a title of Diagnostic Dermatopathology in Systemic Diseases might have been appropriate) this need not concern us. In sum, the book is a welcome and very well produced addition to available textbooks on dermatopathology.
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