8th edition (2 volume edition) Published September 2022
Edited by Marc Hochberg, Ellen Gravallese, Josef Smolen, Desiree van der Heijde, Michael Weinblatt and Michael Weisman
This colossal scholarly work is at risk of surpassing many of the superlatives that I can think of as I looked through this superb 2 volume set. Now in a healthy 8th edition, this 2 volume set is a magnificent, fascinating, educational and detailed tour of rheumatology. This is a book for the rheumatology specialist, either for someone in training or an established healthcare professional such as a consultant rheumatologist. Although I was a GP, (now retired) I was always fascinated by rheumatology, a speciality that has come on leaps and bounds over the years. So, this book was a revelation to look at and is an amazing treasure trove of information and knowledge.
This 2 volume book is the business; it is beautifully produced on nice thick glossy paper which gives these 2 books a premium feel. The 2 volumes are of roughly equal dimensions giving a combined size of roughly 2000 pages. The figures are clear, the tables are most helpful and there is excellent use of colour. Of course, in any textbook, it is the quality of the text that counts-and this book easily scores very highly.
The text is highly detailed but readable and comes from an impressive looking array of contributors and a pleasure to read. I decided to read up on Dupuytren disease and on pages 681 to 682 is a highly readable and excellent account on the condition accompanied by three colour figures. Both primary and secondary care practitioners would appreciate this kind of clinical input.
The text is detailed and clinically focussed and really interesting and overall, the book offers incredible coverage over a massive topic. For example, the chapter (chapter 62) on systemic glucocorticoids in rheumatology is superb and most interesting. The pharmacology coverage is impressive and the 2 illustrations (figures 62.2 and on the opposite page figure 62.3) are a wonderful visual description of the mechanism of action of systemic steroids. The chapter ends with an impressive 179 references. Just to prove this coverage is no fluke, the next chapter (chapter 63) is an equally fascinating look at the pharmacology of methotrexate. These are just examples of the excellence of this book.
The purchase price of the eBook includes access to a digital edition of the book. The inside cover of volume 1 directs the reader to the publisher’s new eBook platform at https://ebooks.health.elsevier.com but after following the instructions and inserting the fairly long unique access (accessed by scratching off a cover like a lottery scratch card) I could not gain access so I contacted the publisher’s technical support. They were most helpful and replied quickly. The new web platform and the old web platform are both waiting for the eBook to arrive. This will be a disappointment to those that want the mobility of a digital edition but the book alone could justify the purchase price and hopefully the eBook will arrive soon.
Put simply this is truly a majestic, modern and outstanding textbook which comes at a substantial price. However, this is a quality offering and if you are a rheumatologist in your everyday job then I am sure you would enjoy accessing this book. Premium textbooks come with premium price tags and for the correct user, this could be worth the hefty purchase price.
Dr Harry Brown
4th November 2022