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A Colour Handbook of Gastroenterology.
  1. A STEEL, Consultant Physician
  1. Kettering General Hospital, UK

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    A Colour Handbook of Gastroenterology. H J F Hodgson, Ralph Boulton, Claire Cousins, Sanjeev Gupta. (Pp 208; £29.95.) Manson Publishing, 1999. ISBN 1-874545-55-3.

    This book is pleasing to the eye and should stand out on the bookseller's shelves. The front cover is well balanced and includes nine colourful images pertaining to gastroenterology. The authors tell the reader that the book is aimed at trainees on both sides of the Atlantic and being a colour handbook emphasises the visual nature of the specialty. Being a short book of 208 pages it is unable to give more than an overview in most areas.

    The book is organised into 10 chapters and an appendix. The first chapter deals adequately with taking a history and physical examination. There are a number of good quality colour prints of clinical cases. However the print of a silver stool is not convincing. Chapter 10 deals with miscellaneous conditions, ascites, constipation, and peritonitis. Chapter 9 deals with gastrointestinal bleeding and within this chapter are again some fine photographic reproductions. Sandwiched in between are seven chapters that travel down the gastrointestinal tract from the mouth to the anus with visits to the pancreas and biliary system along the way.

    Any book that aims to use colour images to give a message must employ clear and well produced images and this book is filled with superb photographs. These are from both endoscopic sources but also radiographic and histological ones. But this book is more than just a colour atlas—there are pages of text. The majority of subjects are dealt with in a succinct and accurate manner and would lead, where needed, to further study in a larger textbook.

    This book achieves its aim admirably and can be highly recommended to trainees in both general medicine and gastroenterology. I must add that it is perhaps a good thing that irritable bowel syndrome has few visual images that go with it!

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