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Whether it is because peripheral nerve has a limited repertoire of responses to pathological insults or whether it is because advances in other areas of neuropathology have sidelined interest, for many years peripheral nerve disease has been the Cinderella of that specialty. Indeed there have been very few monographs on this subject since Roy Weller first published his Pathology of Peripheral Nerve in 1977. Now, with an increase in knowledge of peripheral nerve disease, and advances in electron microscopy and the genetics of inherited neuropathies, the publication of this Atlas of Peripheral Nerve Pathology is timely.
Broadly the book is divided into two sections. In the first the author takes us through the normal light and ultrastructural appearance of peripheral nerve. There then follow chapters on biopsy techniques and importantly a section devoted to artefact. After chapters on morphometry and abnormal structure of peripheral nerve the reader is led into the second section which is devoted to pathological changes. In summary, there are sections on the pathology of the axon, myelin sheath, Schwann cell, intestitium, and vasa nervorum.
This is a handsome well illustrated book with good quality and well annotated photomicrographs, many in colour. The electron micrographs are clear and crisp. The text is well referenced and indexed. This book is primarily an atlas so it would be unfair to criticise deficiencies in the text. However a discussion on the indications for nerve biopsy with some suggested guidelines would have been useful and I think some mention should have been made of the procedure's potential complications.
This book has obvious appeal to clinicians with an interest in disease of the peripheral nerves and to neuropathologists, but the generalist in both specialties will find it useful. For such a heavily illustrated book it is reasonably priced at £125.