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Vitreoretinal Disease: The Essentials.

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    Vitreoretinal Disease: The Essentials.Ed Carl D Regillo, G C Brown, H W Flynn Jr. Pp 693, DM298, SFr 265. New York: Georg Thieme, 1999. ISBN 3-13-111371-5.

    This textbook is intended to provide the ophthalmologist with an up to date source of information on medical and surgical vitreoretinal disease. The book follows many others in being subdivided into basic sciences covering embryology, anatomy, and physiology followed by a further section on techniques of fundus examination, angiography, ultrasonography and electrophysiology. Finally, and fortunately, the most extensive section is clinical.

    The editors have to be congratulated in ensuring that a multiauthor textbook manages to be consistent in its style. The quality of the illustrations is extremely high and there are many colour photographs which add, rather than detract, from the text. An innovation in this textbook is the use of highlighted paragraphs which the authors call “pearls” or “controversial points”. Some readers might find these somewhat distracting but the reviewer found them to be very useful. Obviously a book running to 690 pages cannot claim to be fully comprehensive but there were very few obvious omissions and there are useful references at the end of each chapter. A very useful appendix is included which summarises the major multicentre trials as they pertain to vitreoretinal disease. This section would be extremely helpful for juniors in training and those practising ophthalmologists who perhaps have not read the trials in detail.

    Inevitably there are minor quibbles in such a book; for example, the management of retinal detachment fails to mention the D-Ace procedure, a fault found in many American textbooks. It is also a pity that the proof reading was not entirely up to scratch—for example, on page 190 the final paragraph ends in mid sentence.

    Overall, however, this textbook is a valuable addition to the ophthalmic literature and the presentation is certainly different enough to make it an essential purchase for all departmental libraries and, if the pricing is correct, I am sure many ophthalmologists will buy a personal copy.