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Book reviews
Basic and Clinical Science Course, section 4: ophthalmic pathology and intraocular tumors
  1. R N Belfort1,
  2. A D Singh2
  1. 1
    Vision Institute, Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
  2. 2
    Ophthalmic Oncology Service, Cole Eye Institute Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

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    Debra J Shetlar. Published by American Academy of Ophthalmology San Francisco 2008 £75.00 (paperback) 13 978-1-560-55877-4

    The Basic and Clinical Science Course (BCSC) has grown from a brief outline format to a comprehensive collection. Not only useful for resident education and preparation for board exams, the series is valuable for any ophthalmologist looking for concise yet precise information on any specific condition. This specific volume, Ophthalmic Pathology and Intraocular Tumors, is singular, as it is the only volume in the current edition to address two different subspecialties.

    The first part of the book, ophthalmic pathology, dedicates its first four chapters to a review of basic pathology principles, wound repair, specimen handling and special procedures. These are very useful for all ophthalmologists, especially those who perform surgery and submit samples for pathological analysis. The next 11 chapters explore pathology findings divided by topographic location, from the conjunctiva to the optic nerve.

    Chapters are well illustrated with both clinical and histology pictures, allowing for clear clinical pathological correlations. Although old archival slides may be the only resource to present a vast number of conditions to which enucleation or even biopsy are not accepted as treatment nowadays, some pictures are of low resolution. Also, it would be informative if the authors included the type of stain used and magnification for each pathology microscopic description. Although it does not detract from the overall excellent quality of the book, some clinical information is incorrect. One such example can be found in chapter 11, where it states that “most cases of toxoplasmosis represent reactivation of a transplacentally acquired retinal infection.” It is widely accepted among uveitis specialists that most cases of toxoplasmosis are acquired postnatally.

    The second half of the book is dedicated to clinical aspects of intraocular tumours. This section brings beautiful pictures illustrating clinical information on choroidal melanoma, vascular tumour of the retina, retinoblastoma, secondary tumours, lymphomatous tumours, ocular manifestations of leukaemia and rare intraocular tumours. Melanoma and retinoblastoma, the most frequently seen primary intraocular cancers, are reviewed in detail. With new techniques for diagnosis and management of ocular cancers, ophthalmic oncology is becoming an increasingly complex field even as fewer specimens are submitted for pathology analysis. One can expect that future editions of Ocular Pathology and Ocular Oncology may become two separate BCSC volumes.