Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Mayo Clin Proc, May 1986, Vol 61 be used comfortably as a guide to management of cardiac emergencies. William T. Bardsley, M.D. Division of Cardiovas...

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Mayo Clin Proc, May 1986, Vol 61

be used comfortably as a guide to management of cardiac emergencies. William T. Bardsley, M.D. Division of Cardiovascular Diseases and Internal Medicine

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, 2nd ed (Lung Biology in Health and Disease, Vol 28), edited by Thomas L. Petty, 494 pp, with illus, $75, New York, Marcel Dekker, 1985 The second edition of this text is the first revision in the well-known series, "Lung Biology in Health and Disease." In the updated version, 224 pages, eight contributors, and countless references have been added. The combined efforts of the many well-recognized authors result in a superb sum­ mary of the subject of chronic obstructive pulmo­ nary disease (COPD). This monograph provides many reference-book-level details but still re­ mains relatively easy to read. The preface (re­ printed in part from the first edition) indicates that the "message" was assembled by clinicians and is directed toward interested physicians, nurses, and therapists. The appeal to such a broad audience causes parts of the book to be much more appropriate for one of the aforementioned groups to the exclusion of the others. This criticism was also noted in a review of the first edition (see Mayo Clin Proc 53:827,1978). The first four chapters present general informa­ tion concerning definitions, risk factors, epidemiologic features, prevalence, outcome, and prognosis in patients with advanced COPD. The subsequent two chapters are new additions to the text that extensively describe proposed mechanisms and pathologic correlates of COPD. This detailed ma­ terial will likely be appreciated by only the most sophisticated readers. The second half of the book deals with various treatment modalities, complications, and epiphenomena in patients with COPD. The longest chapter, which is devoted to respiratory and pharmacologic therapy, has 44 pages of references and discusses many of the new medications including selective yß-agonists, calcium channel blockers, anticholinergics, and respiratory stimulants. Except for a short section that covers neuropsychiatric complications in patients with COPD, all



subsequent material was contributed by Dr. Petty. Careful attention is given to outpatient oxygen therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation, and acute re­ spiratory failure, but at times the discussion de­ pends primarily on anecdotal information. The scope of the remaining chapters is more general and becomes more suitable for supportive-care personnel. In summary, this new edition offers something for everyone involved in the care of patients with COPD. The price seems somewhat excessive, and numerous spelling errors and an entirely mis­ placed paragraph detract from the quality of the book. Selection of specific topics from the table of contents based on personal interest and perusal of the corresponding portion of text might be the best way to determine the usefulness of this volume. Peter C. Gay, M.D. Division of Thoracic Diseases and Internal Medicine

Pulmonary Function Testing: Principles and Practice, edited by Steven A. Conrad, Gary T. Kinasewitz, and Ronald B. George, 378 pp, with illus, $33.50, New York, Churchill Livingstone (distributed by Longman, White Plains, New York), 1984 Spirometry and other pulmonary function tests are underutilized by most physicians. Asthma is the most common disease of childhood, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease has be­ come a major public health problem, eventually afflicting more than 20% of all men. Despite this high prevalence, most patients at risk for these lung diseases never undergo pulmonary function testing. Improved physician education regarding the clinical usefulness of pulmonary function testing is needed. This text provides a basic foun­ dation for such an educational program. Medical students, nurses, and respiratory ther­ apy students will benefit from this textbook, which reviews the basic aspects of pulmonary function tests that are performed in a hospitalbased laboratory. The three sections of the text include basic pulmonary physiology, techniques of assessment, and clinical applications. The lan­ guage is simple and direct, and controversial topics are avoided.