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Morson and Dawson’s Gastrointestinal Pathology
  1. R Chetty

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    Day DW, Jass JR, Price AB, et al, eds. (£175.00.) Blackwell Publishing, 2003. ISBN 0 632042044.

    Having read, summarised, and imbibed the 2nd edition of this book as a trainee and used the 3rd as a practising pathologist, I reviewed the 4th edition with great relish. The title remains as a tribute to the two doyennes of gastrointestinal pathology and the book is written by current British luminaries in this field. The basic format of previous editions is maintained, but supplemented by some new illustrations (often in colour) and additional sections (especially molecular aspects). The best way to review a book is to use it as a benchbook beside one’s microscope. Everything I encountered in routine practice is well described and didactically stated in this book. Some observations did strike me when looking at specific entities and referring residents to these specific areas. Although the book is stated to be published in 2003, there are no references (or very few, if I have missed them) from beyond 1999. This is not intended as a major criticism, but there have been some important papers published in gastrointestinal diseases in the past two to three years. One that readily comes to mind is the consensus paper on gastrointestinal stromal tumours and the crieria for the assessment of risk of recurrence, published in April 2002. Secondly, I am led to believe that the causative organism for most cases (if not all) of intestinal spirochaetosis is thought to be Serpulina pilosicoli rather than Brachyspira aalborgi.

    Perhaps spoiled by the widespread use of colour in other modern textbooks I feel this book could have benefitted from the use of colour print for chapter titles, headings, and subheadings.

    These minor observations aside, I thoroughly enjoyed going through this book. I found it authorative, comprehensive, and a complete textbook of gastrointestinal pathology written in a lucid and unequivocal manner. It will, without doubt, be a standard textbook in every histopathology department, read by all trainees presenting to examinations and practising pathologists requiring information in a hands on fashion. I would recommend strongly that gastroenterologists read this book too.