Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods

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Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory MethodsRichard A. Mcpherson, MD andMatthew R. Pincus, MD, PhD. Ilustrations: approximately 1000. Philadelphia, PA: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2006. ISBN 1-4160-0287-1; 1450 pages: $129.The 21st edition of this textbook remains a classic, a must-have for anyone doing clinical pathology, and reflects many new changes. Although Dr Henry is no longer editing the book, his name has now been added to the title where according the preface, it will remain. The current editors have done an outstanding job of keeping this book the general standard of reference in the clinical laboratory.There are several important changes from the last edition. First and unfortunately, the font size has again been decreased, most likely reflecting the authors' goals of making the text both comprehensive yet of manageable size. Second, there are now brief summaries at the beginning of each chapter, which give a nice overview of the text. Third, a new section has been added on Clinical Pathology of Cancer, which combines summaries of the use of tumor markers and oncoproteins that were previously referenced in different areas of the book. Fourth, the section on laboratory management has been expanded, and now includes highly relevant and useful summaries of regulations and regulators that apply to different laboratories. Fifth, there are now not one but 2 chapters on bioterrorism. Finally, the plates of color images are no longer present, and the images are now placed directly in the text.This change in color images has had a mixed result. Although some chapters, such as those on leukocytic disorders, rheumatic diseases, and viral disease are clearly an improvement, in other chapters, such as those on urinalysis and hematopoiesis, the images are not as sharp as they were previously.The text has also been entirely updated. Based only on a sampling of the issues that have come up recently concerning the use of the laboratory in our particular practice, the summaries of the use of estimated glomerular filtration rate, C-reactive protein, and the most recent guidelines for measuring serum lipid profiles seem useful and entirely on target. In contrast, the section on platelet function assays was disappointingly theoretical and did not address the questions that our clinicians are currently asking.Nevertheless, these criticisms are small points in a stellar text. The book remains irreplaceable, and the changes are both important and up to date. While I can no longer imagine reading this book from cover to cover as I did as a resident, I also cannot imagine doing clinical pathology without it.

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