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Barth JH, Butler GE, Hammond P, eds. (324.00.) ACB Ventura Publications, 2001. ISBN 0 902429 34 5
I was considering buying this book but to my delight a gratis copy arrived on my desk to review. But would it have been worth purchasing?
The book, published in the form of a glossy surfaced ring binder, presumably for hands on laboratory use, gives diagnostic algorithms and protocols for various biochemical dynamic tests. Competitors would possibly include Algorithms in Chemical Pathology, by M Crook, Butterworth-Heinemann and The Bart’s Endocrine Protocols by PJ Trainer and M Besser, Churchill-Livingstone. Not everyone will necessarily agree with the algorithms described by the authors. I found some possibly a little too simplistic but they nevertheless cover a range of conditions likely to be encountered by the hospital laboratory.
I found the book particularly useful regarding non-endocrine tests, such as the investigation of renal tubular acidosis or renal calculi. However, if there is a next edition then updating and clarification of some of the dynamic tests will be necessary—for example, oral glucose tolerance tests will need to include impaired fasting glucose.
At under 200 pages this was an easy and fruitful read. It would be a useful book for the chemical pathology department to have, close to hand, to help with those difficult queries. In response to my initial question this is a book worth buying for the clinical laboratory; although a little pricey at £24.
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