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Book and Media Reviews
November 28, 2007

Potter’s Pathology of the Fetus, Infant and Child

Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: John L. Zeller, MD, PhD, Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2007;298(20):2422-2427. doi:10.1001/jama.298.20.2424

Fetal and pediatric medicine has undergone rapid evolution. Advances in prenatal and neonatal diagnostic modalities have allowed for earlier recognition of fetal and infantile disease, with the resultant possibility of more timely and novel interventions. The second edition of Potter's Pathology of the Fetus, Infant and Child, edited by Enid Gilbert-Barness, serves to add to the foundation for the continued development and expansion of this area of medicine.

This 2245-page, 2-volume, hardcover text has contributions from 56 authors. The first volume is split into 3 parts. The first part, “Pathogenesis of Fetal and Infantile Disorders,” serves to orient the reader to the various mechanisms of disease as they relate to the fetus and infant. This section summarizes multiple fields of study, such as embryology, genetics, infectious disease, and perinatal medicine. Tables and illustrations are used constructively to package the extensive amount of information. The chapters on pathogenesis of birth defects and multiple pregnancies are exceptionally well written and deserve close scrutiny. However, because of the breadth of information, only the most salient points of each topic are reviewed. Given how much information on genetic disorders was included, and rightly so, it might have been a good idea to have more geneticists as coauthors. The references are adequate but not exhaustive. Overall, the editors struck a fine balance between brevity and content.

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