bookshelf Those readers of CHEST interested in serving as reviewers for “The Bookshelf” are asked to notify the department editor, Lee K. Brown MD, FCCP, at the following address: New Mexico Center for Sleep Medicine, Lovelace Health Systems, 4700 Jefferson Blvd. NE, Suite 800, Albuquerque, NM 87109. Please indicate your field(s) of expertise (pulmonary, cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, critical care, or sleep), and include your curriculum vitae if available. In appreciation for your completed review, authors may retain the book or software for their own use.
Respiratory Infections, 2nd Edition MS Niederman, GA Sarosi, and J. Glassroth, eds. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2001; 620 pp; price $145.00 Drs. Niederman, Sarosi, and Glassroth have scored a strong hit with their new edition of Respiratory Infections. Following a highly logical and systematic format, the editors have compiled a volume containing detailed aspects of pathogenesis, clinical approaches in special populations (eg, solid-organ transplantation, AIDS), specific pathogens, diagnostic methods, therapy, and prevention of respiratory infections. Notably strong aspects of the text include state-ofthe-art reviews on the diagnosis of nosocomial pneumonia, nontuberculous mycobacterioses, the laboratory diagnosis of pulmonary infections, and the management of fungal infections. Antibiotic selection is carefully reviewed in a consensus format with special attention to emerging patterns of resistance by important pathogenic organisms. The authors of the specific chapters have done a uniformly excellent job in critically appraising the peer-reviewed literature, and references are up-to-date and voluminous (encompassing ⬎ 100 citations for most subjects). None of the chapters could be classified as weak in any important way; however, there is some repetition between chapters. That sort of repetition can be helpful when a chapter is used as a stand-alone review, but makes the text somewhat redundant if read from cover to cover. The “upside” is that despite some repetition, the editors have done their job well in ensuring that the text is consistent from chapter to chapter, a frequent shortcoming of medical books compiled from chapters written by multiple authors. Respiratory Infections, 2nd Edition will serve mainly as a guide and resource for clinicians managing the diagnosis and treatment of adult patients with lower respiratory tract infections, while several chapters devoted to the pediatric population serve to enhance the value of this edition to a wider audience. David L. Dedrick, MD University of New Mexico School of Medicine Albuquerque, NM
Respiratory Physiology: People and Ideas JB West, ed. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1996; 431 pp “Whereof what’s past is prologue. . . .” The Tempest, William Shakespeare John B. West has edited a wonderful volume that preserves the very personal stories of many of the “giants” of physiology, outlines the current state of our knowledge, and points out the directions that future research may take. In so doing, he reminds us of the multitude of individuals whose hard work and genius underlie our present understanding of respiratory physiology. 326
This is the fifth installment of a series of “People and Ideas” books commissioned by The American Physiologic Society. Previous volumes have covered circulatory, renal, endocrine, and membrane physiology; according to Dr. West’s preface, all were conceived with the intent of guiding the reader through predominantly 20th century developments in physiology. The book is divided into five sections covering morphology, gas exchange and blood flow, mechanics, control of ventilation, and comparative physiology. Some of the sections are somewhat artificially divided into chapters that probably could have been combined; for instance, chapters 10 (“The History of Chemoreception”) and 11 (“Airway and Pulmonary Afferents and Reflexes: A Historical Survey”). It seems likely that the availability of authors with firsthand knowledge of various historical aspects of pulmonary physiology dictated the manner in which subjects were assigned. One could certainly argue that the chance to preserve important historical insight should take precedence over mild redundancy of subject matter, and the list of contributors to this volume contains no shortage of authors with personal involvement in the subject at hand; for instance, Ewald Weibel on lung structure and function; Astrup and Severinghaus on blood gas analysis; Jere Mead on mechanics; P. T. Macklem on respiratory muscle physiology; Curt von Euler on ventilatory rhythm generation; and West himself on gas exchange. Any multiauthored book runs the risk of considerable variation in writing style and philosophy, tempered only by the editor’s efforts to mandate some degree of uniformity. This volume runs that risk somewhat more than most, given the very personal nature of the subjects, and West appears to have allowed the authors much freedom. The styles range from the elegantly written, personalized account of lung surface tension by John Clements, to the entertaining, wonderfully anecdotal chapter on lung liquid and solute exchange by Norman Staub, to the somewhat dry, encyclopedic, but authoritative article on rhythm generation by von Euler. The reader also may resort to an individual style and philosophy in devouring this book, concentrating on the scientific content, the history, or simply on the entertaining stories. With respect to the latter, one could fill an entire review to overflowing with fascinating anecdotes: L. J. Henderson (Henderson-Hasselbalch equation) being rejected (twice!) for membership in the American Physiologic Society; Staub’s group performing studies on dogs in the human cardiac catheterization lab on days when no patients were scheduled; Werner Forssmann performing right atrial catheterization on himself, using a ureteric catheter; West confessing that his automobile’s license plate reads “VAQ”; Julius Comroe’s irritation that Arthur DuBois developed the plethysmographic measurement of airway resistance and thoracic gas volume in only 1 week of effort; Robert Hyatt meeting Donald Fry (resulting in seminal studies of respiratory mechanics) only because Hyatt wandered into Fry’s lab looking for the men’s room; Le´on Fre`dericq’s fascinating cross-perfusion experiments in dogs demonstrating that CO2 and O2 chemoreception occurred in the head; Joseph Breuer (Breuer-Hering reflex) sharing credit with Sigmund Freud for founding the school of psychoanalysis (they co-authored Studies on Hysteria). Whether read for scientific content, historical insight, or as a celebration of the sometimes-serendipitous manner in which scientific progress is made, this volume is a worthy investment for the clinician or physiologist. Lee K. Brown, MD, FCCP New Mexico Center for Sleep Medicine, Lovelace Health Systems, Inc. Albuquerque, NM