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Authored by D C Allen, R I Cameron. Published by Springer, 2004, pp 518. ISBN 1 85233 740 0
When reviewing a book of this nature it is difficult to be critical because there are several different methods of specimen handling and processing. The method used is often dependent on personal preference and accepted protocols in individual laboratories. As the authors state in the preface, there is no one correct method; however, irrespective of the method used, maximum information must be obtained from the macroscopic and microscopic examination.
In an era where great importance is placed on the information obtained from macroscopic examination of the specimen and optimal processing of tissue for histological examination, a book to guide pathologists is welcome.
This book covers specimens from 11 anatomical regions, each including numerous specific sites and one miscellaneous section. Each section covers anatomy (including lymphovascular supply, where applicable), clinical presentation, clinical investigations, pathological conditions (both non-neoplastic and neoplastic), clinical aspects of surgical pathology specimens, and laboratory aspects of surgical pathology specimens. The sections on laboratory aspects of surgical pathology specimens provide extensive coverage of specimen types, points to consider in the description of specimens, appropriate selection of blocks, and the essentials of an adequate histopathology report. The last chapter on miscellaneous specimens and ancillary techniques discusses needle core biopsies, fine needle aspirations, cytospin and liquid based cytology, specimen photography, specimen radiography, frozen sections, immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry, in situ hybridisation, electron microscopy, cytogenetics, molecular genetics, and proteomics.
Although there are references to fixatives in specific sections, future editions would benefit by the inclusion of sections on fixatives and optimal fixation, decalcification of specimens, lymph node identifying fluids, and transport media for immunofluorescence biopsies.
The authors intended to provide a book based on their current practice protocols “to educate and better equip all those involved in the histopathology specimen process”, and this they have achieved.
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