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BW Scheithauer, JM Woodruff, RA Erlandson. ($95.00.) AFIP, 1999. ISBN 188 10414 5
This book is part of the third series of the AFIP “Atlas of Tumor Pathology” series. The three American authors are recognised as experts in this field, and this book gains immensely from their experience and authority. This is no mere revised update from its predecessor, but is an entirely fresh approach to this complex field of pathology. The fascicle is not confined simply to peripheral nerve sheath neoplasms, but also describes the non-malignant conditions—hamartomas, hyperplasias, reactive lesions, and inflammatory lesions—that may present clinically as a peripheral nerve tumour.
This well laid out book begins with a useful description of the development and anatomy of the normal peripheral nerve. It then moves on to describe non-neoplastic nerve lesions, followed by chapters that describe the entire spectrum of benign and malignant nerve sheath tumours. The book is beautifully illustrated in colour, not only with depictions of histology, but macroscopic specimens, clinical specimens, clinical photographs, and the results of radiological and other investigations. These are particularly striking in the chapter on neurofibromatosis, which is one of the best accounts I have read of these conditions. Electron microscopy is not ignored, and immunocytochemical investigations and their role in diagnosis are well depicted.
My colleagues and I have found this an invaluable book and I would recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone whose diagnostic practice involves the examination of peripheral nerve lesions. Like other books in this series, it is well produced and bound, and represents excellent value for its modest price. It is only very seldom that new books can be recommended without reservation, but this is the exception that proves the rule and it should not be missed.