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Eds K W Wright, P H Spiegel. Pp 1084; £174.50. Berlin: Springer, 2003. ISBN 0-387-95478-3
Paediatric ophthalmology is a large and developing subject and a new comprehensive, up to date text is much to be welcomed. In this revised edition of a major textbook, the editors and contributing authors have made great efforts to include many recent and important pieces of research. Despite this, there is a very practical flavour to most of the chapters; a nice touch is the inclusion of several practically useful tables (guidelines for planning strabismus surgery) and graphs of normal adnexal dimensions just within the covers.
Three new chapters been added since the first edition; “Visual electrophysiology in children,” “Strabismus surgery,” and “Ocular disorders with systemic manifestations.” The first is a masterly and highly readable summary of the usefulness of electrophysiology in children and is a fitting tribute to one of the authors, Dr Tony Kriss, who sadly died soon after its completion. The chapter on strabismus surgery by Kenneth Wright contains elegant descriptions, beautifully illustrated, of a range of surgical techniques used in strabismus surgery. Finally, there is a unique account by Dr Maya Eibschitz-Tsimhoni, of the ocular manifestations of inherited disease. She includes a glossary of terms used to describe dysmorphic features, an alphabetical thesaurus of syndromes with prominent ocular features and their many alternative names and a clear description of the general and ocular findings in each, together with the genetic locus where known, or inheritance pattern. Generally, the neuro-ophthalmological and systemic or developmental problems are dealt with particularly well, but all of the chapters are comprehensive and well illustrated with clinical pictures and clear diagrams where appropriate.
I have rarely enjoyed reading a textbook as much as this one. My only complaint is of its bulk and the fact that apparently there is no CD version. This textbook is certainly useful enough for one to take it to clinics regularly but it is difficult to do this if attending outreach clinics, especially if carrying a laptop computer, an indirect ophthalmoscope, and a retinoscope as well. I would therefore warmly recommend this book to all ophthalmologists who see children but I would also beseech the publishers to think about a more portable medium for this potentially extremely useful text.