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Principles of molecular rheumatology. Ed G C Tsokos. (Pp545; $145) Totowa, New Jersey: Humana Press, 2000. ISBN 0-89603-773-8.
During the past decade enormous progress has been made in understanding the pathophysiology of the rheumatic diseases at the molecular level. This textbook is timely because its target readership, clinicians and clinical trainees, is in need of a textbook that allows easy access to the field. The reader can pick up information easily here. However, one of the major weaknesses is that there is little cross referencing between the chapters (for example, chapters 11 and 19) and much unnecessary duplication (one wonders why the gld/lpr mice strains are described in detail on both pages 40 and 83). Although the unnecessary repetition of data is disturbing, the whole field is covered adequately with the exception of dendritic cell biology and the new developments in the field of mesenchymal stem cells. These are relatively minor omissions given the goal to produce a comprehensive textbook on principles of pathophysiology in rheumatology.
It is easy to read with good illustrations, well referenced, though the chapters on diseases, somewhat outside its scope (such as osteoporosis or methotrexate treatment), lack the depth that is present elsewhere—for example, in the excellent chapter on the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis. Its benefits (comprehensiveness, readability, generally high quality) certainly outweigh its limitations (lack of cross referencing, and duplication).
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