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Atlas of Eyelid and Conjunctival Tumors

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    Atlas of Eyelid and Conjunctival Tumors. By Jerry A Shields, Carol L Shields. Pp 350. £101. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 1999. ISBN 0-7817-1915-1

    This hardback full colour photographic atlas is the first of a three volume series of atlases from the renowned ocular oncology service at Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia. The format is appealing with a left hand page of succinct text on each condition with choice references. The facing page is a plate of colour photographs, including clinical photographs, intraoperative photographs, radiographs and photographs of gross pathological specimens, and photomicrographs. Full colour drawings, 18 in total, of surgical techniques are also presented.

    This atlas is comprehensive in its coverage with 95 different disease entities of the eyelids and conjunctiva described and illustrated. These include common and important diseases such as malignant melanoma and basal cell carcinoma as well as less common entities such as phacomatous choristoma. The contents are organised into 25 chapters, the first 15 (Part I) dealing with lesions of the eyelids with the remaining 10 (Part II) covering the conjunctiva. Within each part, tumours are logically grouped according to patterns of differentiation/presumed histiogenesis. Therefore, for the eyelids, separate chapters exist—for example, for tumours of the epidermis, sebaceous glands, sweat glands, melanocytes, neural tissues, vascular tissues, etc. A strength is the inclusion of chapters covering inflammatory, infectious, developmental and other lesions, such as amyloidosis, that can simulate neoplasia. Interestingly, the authors have chosen to collect benign cystic lesions of the eyelids into a separate chapter rather than, for example, covering eccrine hidrocystoma in the chapter on sweat gland tumours. The final chapter of each section discusses the surgical management of lesions at those sites.

    This volume is remarkably authoritative, lavishly illustrated (1056 figures), and commendably succinct, in keeping with the aim of an atlas rather than a textbook. Valuable clinicopathological correlation is found for almost all lesions illustrated. Although this book is produced in the USA, its terminology and applicability are suitably international. Only a few examples of potentially troublesome nomenclatures are present, including the use of the term “benign lymphoma” and the classification of epithelial papillomas of the lacrimal drainage apparatus as “squamous” without reference to “transitional”.

    In summary, this is a superb atlas reflecting the outstanding experience and expertise of its authors. Its format and content ensure that it is equally at home as a reference text in the clinic setting, the library, the ophthalmic pathology laboratory or within a personal collection. It will be of value to general ophthalmologists and dermatologists, as well as specialists in external diseases, oculoplastics, oncology, or pathology. Reviewing this volume has made me determined to obtain the companion volumes on intraocular tumours and orbital tumours.