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    Visual Fields. 2nd ed. By David B Henson. Pp 176; £30. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2000. ISBN0-7506-4173-8.

    Visual field assessment is an essential part of everyday clinical practice and has evolved considerably over the past decade. It is therefore highly appropriate that Dr Henson has chosen to update his superb textbook on the subject.

    Visual Fields is aimed at both perimetrists and “readers” of visual field test results. It succeeds where other texts fail by providing relevant information for both the uninitiated and the highly experienced. The relaxed but concise writing style makes the book a delightful continual read that serves equally well for quick reference. Considerable detail is provided that will satisfy all but the most curious, who are provided with comprehensive and well selected references.

    The text is intuitively divided into 11 digestible chapters, covering psychophysics, examination strategies, alternative perimetric tests, extraneous factors affecting the visual field, visual pathways, differential diagnosis, glaucoma, screening, defect quantification, practical advice, and instrumentation. The author urges novice perimetrists to start at the beginning while encouraging veterans to delve at their leisure. A short glossary is available to help interpret perimetric jargon.

    Revisions made from the 1993 edition deal with new developments that are now commercially available: newer thresholding strategies (Swedish Interactive Thresholding Algorithms, Tendency Orientated Perimetry, fastpac), new instrumentation, alternative techniques (short wavelength automated perimetry, frequency doubling technology perimetry), and well thought out information and clinical advice on monitoring for progressive loss. Of particular interest are the screening and defect quantification sections that present a thorough, balanced synopsis of facts that can take years to assimilate from abundant perimetric literature. The only small disappointment is that the author does not comment on the wealth of perimetric research designed to provide insight into mechanisms of cell death in early glaucoma.

    In summary, this revised edition is a highly readable text that provides useful information for all involved with assessment of the visual field.