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January 27, 1989

The Pituitary Gland

Author Affiliations

Emory University School of Medicine Atlanta

Emory University School of Medicine Atlanta

JAMA. 1989;261(4):625-626. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420040169041

This book is an ambitious effort: 21 chapters, 48 figures, 105 tables, and almost 1500 references. A book on the pituitary gland should contain information on anatomy and imaging, normal function, and endocrine and nonendocrine aspects of pituitary diseases, with strategies for diagnosis and treatment. The author, a clinical endocrinologist, is at his best discussing normal function and endocrine aspects of pituitary diseases, but with shortcomings even there. The other topics are covered in bits and pieces rather than specific sections, making it hard to get a clear understanding.

The organization of the book into its many chapters leads to a moderate amount of distracting redundancies, while the detail in each chapter makes it difficult to find specific items. Testing strategies are described in generalities rather than specifics, several useful protocols are not mentioned (hypertonic saline infusion for diabetes insipidus, overnight metyrapone test rather than the two-day test), and some