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IgA Nephropathy: from Molecules to Man.
  1. I Roberts

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    Tomino Y. ($99.25.) Karger, 1999. ISBN 3 8055 6833 9.

    This book is volume 126 in the “Contributions to nephrology” series. Its stated purposes are to review the author's work on IgA nephropathy and to provide the most up to date findings on the subject. The first of these aims is certainly achieved, but in providing a broad up to date review it is sadly lacking. As a result of focusing on the author's own work, the text is unbalanced with many important omissions. The reference list is relatively short for a book of this length (274, compared with 711 for the IgA chapter in Heptinstall's Pathology of the Kidney) and is out of date in several areas.

    The chapters that are potentially of most interest to pathologists are those on histopathology, pathogenesis, and mechanisms of progression. The first of these is a brief eight pages. The introduction to light microscopy (LM) strangely includes a half page summary of a study that reported the absence of DNA polymerase-α positive cells in IgA nephropathy. Hoping that the next section, on LM classification of IgA nephropathy, would make sense of what is currently a confused area, I was disappointed to find that only three systems were discussed, all from Japan (Shirai's, Sakaguchi's, and Sakai's), with no attempt to rationalise disparate schema or to differentiate disease activity from chronicity. The chapters on pathogenesis improve on this poor start, but again are eratic; in some areas, such as alterations in glomerular matrix, it tabulates large amounts of raw data, while ommiting other important pieces of recent work. As a result, it is unlikely to satisfy researchers in this field.

    Although nephrologists might find some useful information in this book, pathologists will find it of limited value.