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Oculodermal Diseases.

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    Oculodermal Diseases. By U Pleyer, C Hartmann, W Sterry. Pp 340; £57.15. Buren/The Netherlands: Swets and Zeitlinger, 1997. ISBN 90-7043-020-7.

    Immunological similarities between the skin and the eye lead to various disorders which may involve both organs. Along with allergic disorders these are the ocular mucocutaneous syndromes that often present a number of diagnostic but also therapeutic problems. This book has succeeded in presenting important basic and clinical knowledge for a better understanding of these disorders. One of the main goals of the book is to understand similarities and dissimilarities between both systems. Written by dermatologists, immunologists, and ophthalmologists, the 19 chapters focus in the first part on general aspects of both organs, like immunophysiology of the skin, immunological privilege of the eye, and anatomy of the skin and conjunctiva. The second part addresses the immunology and therapy of ocular cicatricial pemphigoid (OCP), but also diseases that mimic OCP, and the Stevens–Johnson syndrome. The book is mostly well illustrated, the chapters generally contain the most recent important literature. The subject index makes working easier.

    In conclusion, the book presents the most updated information in the field of these often misdiagnosed or mistreated disorders including an overview of the problems associated with oculodermal disorders and probable solutions.

    Better understanding of the influence of the MHC antigens on the aetiology of oculomucocutaneous disorders and further characterisation of the autoantigens located in the area of the basement membrane zone may lead to a better diagnosis and to a much more specific, effective treatment.