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Mesko D. ed. (£35.00): Springer-Verlag, 2003. ISBN 3 540 43057 1.
What do you do when you get phoned in your laboratory office by a clinical colleague asking you what are the 10 causes of a raised urine δ aminolevulic acid? Well, you could disconnect the phone and hope they don’t call back, you could start gabbling and say you have never heard of it, or alternatively you could consult this book! This 1000 plus page text is, indeed, a treasure trove of useful laboratory facts.
The book covers thoroughly many laboratory parameters in various biological materials. Other useful features were a detailed description of medications and how these may interfere with laboratory tests, and a section listing laboratory findings in a variety of clinical conditions. I also found the tables of what sampling tubes were necessary for particular laboratory tests extremely helpful. To add to this there are tables of reference ranges for numerous laboratory tests and also conversion factors for changing conventional units to SI units.
This vademecum is written by a group of experienced laboratory workers and covers clearly many aspects of clinical biochemistry, haematology, microbiology, and immunology and is a worthy addition to any clinical laboratory’s bookshelf. I heartily recommend it.