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July 28, 1969

Renal Disease in Childhood

Author Affiliations

University of California San Francisco

JAMA. 1969;209(4):564. doi:10.1001/jama.1969.03160170060028

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This book reflects the coming of age of pediatric nephrology, as separate from the not-so-old specialty of nephrology.

The text, intended as a "concise practical guide for pediatricians, urologists, general practitioners, and residents," fulfills its purpose well, in a restricted sense. The opening section on anatomy is well written, and the diagrams are satisfactory (although I prefer actual specimens to diagrams). The section concerned with function is given in places to mechanical explanations that suffer from oversimplifying a dynamic phenomenon.

Before taking up specific renal disorders, the author describes their symptoms, signs, and laboratory tests. The treatment is quite conventional, but I believe useful to his chosen audience. Here and there I disagree, eg, a fundoscopic examination in patients with renal disease often is helpful well before exudates develop. A poor correlation between specific gravity and osmolality all but cancels the usefulness of specific gravity, except as a qualitative indicator