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Am Fam Physician. 2000 Jan 15;61(2):577-581.

Viral Hepatitis: Diagnosis, Therapy and Prevention

Edited by Steven Spector. Pp. 416. Price, $99.50. Humana Press, 999 Riverview Dr., Ste. 208. Totowa, NJ 07512. Phone: 973-256-1699. ISBN; 0-896-03424-0

This clearly written and readable review of viral hepatitis provides useful information for family physicians interested in this protean disorder. Although 400 pages may seem excessive, the book is well outlined, with chapters addressing each of the specific viral hepatitides, as well as additional chapters on making correct diagnoses, antiviral therapies and vaccine prevention of hepatitis A and B. Coverage of viral hepatitis is thorough and complete and, although the field is continually evolving, the reader is alerted to significant trends and areas of research. Good-sized print and pointed chapter subheadings make the book easy to peruse or read cover to cover.

Each chapter is divided into sections, allowing the reader to quickly access desired information, but the chapters also flow well together and prove authoritative and informative in their entirety. Chapters on specific viral hepatitis entities include sections on biology and pathogenesis of disease, as well as useful sections on transmission, signs and symptoms, treatment, prevention and future directions in the field of viral hepatitis. The depth of information seems “just right,” and each chapter is extensively referenced for further review.

The clear writing style and useful content provide an effective review of biochemistry and genetics that is suitable for family physicians. The illustrations consist mainly of tables and graphics offering helpful clinical information and providing clear diagnostic and prognostic clues. The graphic legends are generally clear, although one legend in the chapter on hepatitis A refers readers to the text to gain adequate understanding. Fortunately, this occurs only once, and the other graphics have appropriate and informative legends that allow them to stand alone.

The authors of the chapters have varying backgrounds, some being clinicians and some being researchers. This variation does not affect the basic formats of the chapters but does slightly affect the content and concentration on specific areas within the chapters. Specifically, the chapter on hepatitis B contains an abundance of information on biochemistry, and the chapter on the hepatitis A vaccine contains excessive details on its development, making this chapter among the longest in the book. However, much useful information is made readily available by the use of chapter subheadings and sections.

The chapter on the laboratory diagnosis of viral hepatitis provides beneficial information ranging from specimen preparation to clarification and usefulness of various serologic and viral quantitation tests. The informative chapter on antiviral therapies includes sections on variations among different clinical and demographic populations, as well as lists of response predictors to antiviral treatment.

Dr. Spector has put together an up-to-date summary of all that is known about viral hepatitis in a highly readable book. Tables augment the text by clarifying basic points. Detailed pathologic discussions are kept to a minimum, and the reader is not asked to view microscopic pictures of damaged hepatocytes. This book is written by clinicians and researchers but clearly aimed at clinicians. It successfully provides us with distinct guidelines for thinking about viral hepatitis and its management. The depth of this book makes it appropriate for family physicians who are more focused on viral hepatitis, and it is also useful as a reference for those with a more casual interest in the topic.

Also Received

Current Review of Complementary Medicine

Edited by Marc S. Micozzi. Pp. 167. Price, $49.95. Current Medicine, 400 Market St., Ste. 700, Philadelphia, PA 19106, 1999. Phone: 800-427-1796. ISBN: 1-573-40129-3.

Diabetes: Caring for Your Emotions as Well as Your Health

By Jerry Edelwich and Archie Brodsky. Pp. 317. Price, $15.00. Perseus Books, 1 Jacob Way, Reading, MA 01867, 1999. Phone: 800-386-5656. ISBN: 0-738-20021-2.

Drug Prescribing in Renal Failure

By George R. Aronoff, Jeffrey S. Berns, Michael E. Brier, Thomas A. Golper, Gail Morrison, Irwin Singer, et al. Pp. 176. Price, $28.00. 4th ed. American College of Physicians, Books Program, 190 N. Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106, 1999. Phone: 800-523-1546. ISBN: 0-943-12676-2.

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry: America's Doctor Tells You Why the Health Experts are Wrong

By Dean Edell. Pp. 347. Price, $25.00. Harper Collins, 10 E. 53rd St., New York, NY 10022-5299, 1999. Phone: 800-242-7737. ISBN: 0-060-19155-4.

Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide

Edited by Anthony L. Komaroff. Pp. 1,192. Price, $40.00. Simon & Schuster, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020, 1999. Phone: 800-223-2336. ISBN: 0-684-84703-5.

The Healing Power of Faith

By Harold Koenig. Pp. 336. Price, $25.00. Simon & Schuster, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020, 1999. Phone: 800-223-2336. ISBN: 0-684-85296-9.

Health Care USA

By Harry A. Sultz and Kristina M. Young. Pp. 439. Price, $45.00. 2d ed. Aspen Publishers, 200 Orchard Ridge Dr., Ste. 200, Gaithersburg, MD 20878, 1999. Phone: 800-638-8437. ISBN: 0-834-21167-X.

Health Information Management Manual

Edited by Joan Gratto Liebler. Price, $195.00. Aspen Publishers, 200 Orchard Ridge Dr., Gaithersburg, MD 20878, 1999. Phone: 800-638-8437. ISBN: 0-834-20944-6.

Hospital Pharmacy Data Quarterly

Edited by Douglas Wong, Gene Lass and Julie Frandsen. Pp. 57. Price, $69.00. Vol. 1, Issue 4. Aspen Publishers, 200 Orchard Ridge Dr., Ste. 200, Gaithersburg, MD 20878, 1999. Phone: 800-638-8437.

The Investigator's Guide to Clinical Research

By David Ginsberg. Pp. 281. Price, $79.00. 2d ed. CenterWatch, 22 Thompson Place, 12F3, Boston, MA 02210-1212, 1999. Phone: 617-856-5900. ISBN: 0-967-30290-0.

Manual of Clinical Problems in Infectious Disease

By Nelson M. Gantz, Richard Brown, Steven L. Berk, Anthony L. Esposito and Richard A. Gleckman. Pp. 544. Price, $34.95. 4th ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 227 E. Washington Sq., Philadelphia, PA 19106-3780, 1999. Phone: 800-241-6551. ISBN: 0-781-71910-0.

Medicare State Profiles: State and Regional Data on Medicare and the Population It Serves

By The Kaiser Family Foundation. Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2400 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025, 1999. Phone: 650-854-9400.

The Merck Manual of Medical Information: Home Edition

Edited by Robert Berkow. Pp. 1,600. Price, $7.99. Pocket Books, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020. Phone: 212-698-7086. ISBN: 0-671-02727-1.

Natural Power Builders: The Pros and Cons

By Winifred Conkling. Pp. 159. Price, $5.99. St. Martin's Press, 175 5th Ave., New York, NY 10010, 1999. Phone: 800-221-7945. ISBN: 0-312-97103-6.

Pharmatecture: Minimizing Medications to Maximize Results

By Gideon Bosker. Pp. 485. Price, $49.95 Facts and Comparisons, 111 West Port Plaza, Ste. 300, St. Louis, MO 63416-3098, 1999. Phone: 800-223-0554. ISBN: 1-574-39047-3.

Physician Profiling and Risk Adjustment

Edited by Norbert Goldfield. Pp. 685. Price, $99.00. 2d ed. Aspen Publishers, 200 Orchard Ridge Dr., Ste. 200, Gaithersburg, MD 20878, 1999. Phone: 800-638-8437. ISBN: 0-834-21169-6.

Primary Care Management: Cases and Discussions

By Goutham Rao. Pp. 251. Price, $29.95. Sage Publications, 2455 Teller Rd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91320, 1999. Phone: 805-499-0721. ISBN: 0-761-91204-5.

The Savvy Mom's Guide to Medical Care

By Pamela Gallin and Kathy Matthews. Pp. 240. Price, $24.95. Golden Books Publishing, 888 Seventh Ave., New York, NY 10106, 1999. Phone: 414-633-4431. ISBN: 1-582-38049-X.

Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family

By Ellyn Satter. Pp. 240. Price, $16.95. Kelcy Press, P.O. Box 46457, Madison, WI 53744-6457, 1999. Phone: 800-808-7976. ISBN: 0-967-11890-5.

Special Populations in the Community: Advances in Reducing Health Disparities

By Juliann G. Sebastian and Angeline Bushy. Pp. 405. Price, $37.00. Aspen Publishers, 200 Orchard Ridge Dr., Gaithersburg, MD 20878, 1999. Phone: 800-638-8437. ISBN: 0-834-21364-8.

Stealth Health: How to Sneak Nutrition Painlessly Into Your Diet

By Evelyn Tribole. Pp. 240. Price, $24.96. Penguin Putnam, 375 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014, 1999. Phone: 800-526-0275. ISBN: 0-670-87499-X.

Taylor's Family Medicine Review

Edited by Robert B. Taylor. Pp. 285. Price, $42.00. Springer-Verlag, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010, 1999. Phone: 212-460-1500. ISBN: 0-387-98569-7.

Textbook of Nutritional Medicine

By Melvyn R. Werbach. Pp. 740. Price, $74.95. Third Line Press, 4751 Vivianna Dr., Tarzana, CA 91356, 1999. Phone: 818-996-0076. ISBN: 0-961-85509-6.

Thurlbeck's Chronic Airflow Obstruction

By Joanne Wright and William M. Thurlbeck. Pp. 332. Price, $79.95. 2d ed. Decker, 4 Hughston St. S., P.O. Box 620 LCD1, Hamilton, Ontario L8N 3K7, Canada, 1999. Phone: 800-568-7281. ISBN: 1-550-09039-9.

Understanding Parkinson's Disease: A Self-Help Guide

By David L. Cram. Pp. 171. Price, $14.95. Addicus Books, P.O. Box 45327, Omaha, NE 68145, 1999. Phone: 800-775-1500. ISBN: 1-886-03940-2.


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