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November 12, 1973

Renal Disease in Childhood

Author Affiliations

University of California San Francisco


by John A. James, ed 2; 377 pp, 116 illus, $23.50, C. V. Mosby Co., 1972.

JAMA. 1973;226(7):796. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03230070054027

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Dr. James states in his preface that his book is intended to serve as a practical guide for physicians without special experience in pediatric nephrology. He has served his purpose well.

The book is organized along traditional lines, with the first five chapters devoted to normal anatomy, clinical manifestation, diagnostic procedures, embryology, and kidney function. Interlaced in the chapters are remarks relating to disease, abnormal findings, and other clinical points. This is at once distracting and interesting. I finally concluded the advantages of mixing useful clinical data in introductory chapters concerned with "normal" background made reading more compelling—particularly for a dedicated clinician.

The physiological descriptions in the book were its weakest points. Part of this difficulty arose from the author's determination to keep the book short and useful to the "nonnephrologist." Some points made are at least arguable. The description of mechanisms governing sodium reabsorption is so abbreviated that the