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Carpenter S, Karpati G. (£140.00.) Oxford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0 19 506364 3
The first edition of Carpenter and Karpati's Pathology of Skeletal Muscle has been one of the standard bench books of muscle pathology for practising neuropathologists. The second edition is substantially extended and updated on a wide range of topics.
The book falls into two sections: the first half is devoted to structure and reactions of muscle and contains an introductory chapter and chapters on removal and preparation of biopsy samples, skeletal muscle biology, the major pathological changes encountered, and detailed descriptions of subcellular components. The second section is devoted to diseases of skeletal muscle and broadly breaks down into chapters covering genetic disease (including dystrophies), lysosomal and non-lysosomal storage disease, inflammatory myopathies, and sporadic myopathies, with several shorter sections covering a large range of the rarer or less well understood conditions. As examples of the topicality, there is an informative discussion of recent advances in the understanding of limb girdle dystrophies with references covering the sarcoglyanopathies, and deficiencies of dysferlin, calveolin, and calpain. Another example is a survey of human immunodeficiency virus and human T cell leukaemia virus 1 (HTLV-1) related myopathies, including the iatrogenic Zidovudine-related myopathy. Each section carries a comprehensive list of references, which covers the literature up to 1998–9.
The book is well produced on high quality paper with a clear, easily read typeface, and the illustrations, both black and white and colour, are of superb quality and cannot be faulted. Judiciously included line diagrams, both black and white and colour, are clear and easily understood. The price is reasonable. There are occasional infelicities as—for example, on page 54 in the section describing muscle spindles. The three types of intrafusal fibres are described and the reader is referred to table 3.3 for a survey of their features. However, table 3.3 only covers the standard type 1 and type 2 (extrafusal) muscles fibres.
This is a major text in the field and should be recommended to all practising myopathologists as a vade mecum.