Book review

Media Type: Textbook (Hardcover with Expert Consult – Online and Print)

Synopsis: Uveitis remains one of ophthalmology’s most frustrating conditions. Clinicians often receive limited formal training in ocular inflammation during residency and beyond; improperly diagnosed or undertreated patients suffer unnecessary vision loss as a result. In this fourth edition of their classic textbook, the authors bring decades of experience in research, clinical care, and industry that can help ophthalmologists at all levels of experience. Their comprehensive and practical approach to the subject matter updates the understanding of the pathophysiology and management of uveitis. Written in a consistent and understandable format, Uveitis: Fundamentals and Clinical Practice remains the gold standard in its field.

Target Audience: Ophthalmologists, internists, rheumatologists, infectious disease specialists.

Review: This is the fourth edition of what has become a must-read textbook for anyone with an interest in ocular inflammatory disease. With each chapter written by one of the two authors, both leading experts in the field, there is a consistency to the approach and style, sometimes lacking in multiple-author textbooks, that achieves the authors’ goal of “a comprehensive text presenting a practical approach.” No substantial change in the overall format of previous editions has been made, so the text retains its easy-to-follow content outline (Fundamentals, Diagnosis, Medical and Surgical Therapy, Infectious Uveitis, and Non-Infectious Uveitis), but the material and references are as current as a textbook can have. As with previous editions, the authors’ style is straightforward and realistic, and as befits a field in which even a dramatic increase in our understanding leaves us with nearly as many unanswered questions as ever, there is a well-balanced presentation of diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. The quality of the photographs is superb, with inclusion of tests such as autofluorescence and optical coherence tomography not generally available at the time of the third edition.

Despite the advancement in knowledge since the publication of first edition of this book, its size has remained similar. As such, certain subjects must of necessity be covered only in limited detail. The chapter on scleritis is relatively brief, for example, although the section on surgical techniques in patients with uveitis has been expanded from earlier editions and provides a well-balanced review of various approaches. In keeping with the purpose of the book, the pre- and post-operative medical management in these patients (often the most neglected aspect of uveitic surgery by anterior and posterior segment surgeons alike) is emphasized. Helpful tables that compare outcomes of medical and surgical therapies for various diseases are used effectively, and would be of particular help to a resident preparing a case discussion for Grand Rounds.

Several chapters remain a must-read for anyone from resident to uveitis specialist, including the overview of the immune system (with updates on the understanding of cytokines and inflammatory pathways), evidence-based medicine in uveitis, establishing a differential diagnosis, and the approach to medical therapy (with valuable updates on new biologic agents and intraocular therapies).

A nice, but sometimes inconsistent, feature in this edition is the ability to access the text online (ideal if you happen to be travelling) to find a particular topic. Typing in “birdshot retinopathy,” for example, yielded text on the clinical characteristics, laboratory findings, and histology, but not therapy. A suggestion for future editions might be a section devoted to ongoing clinical trials in uveitis (the Multicenter Uveitis Steroid Trial, for example, is mentioned only in passing).

In summary, Uveitis: Fundamentals and Clinical Practice retains its place as perhaps the most coherent and useful textbook in its field. I highly recommend it for ophthalmologists in all stages of their careers.

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Jan 16, 2017 | Posted by in OPHTHALMOLOGY | Comments Off on Book review

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