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Book and New Media Reviews
February 2004

Practical Immunopathology of the Skin

Author Affiliations



by Bruce R. Smoller, 208 pp, $129.50, ISBN 1-58829-149-9, Totowa, NJ, Humana Press, 2002.


Copyright 2004 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2004

Arch Dermatol. 2004;140(2):247. doi:10.1001/archderm.140.2.247-a

Dr Smoller has accomplished a concise book that contains much of the current knowledge on practical immunohistochemistry applied to skin pathology.

The book is organized in an introduction, a directory of antibodies, and a series of vignettes. The introduction has a short overview on how and when immunohistochemistry should be performed. Dr Smoller indicates some very important points in this overview, eg, the need of supervision by a qualified physician such as a surgical pathologist or a dermatopathologist. Interpretation of immunohistochemical slides requires correlation with external and internal controls, and with clinical information. Dr Smoller stresses the fact that immunohistochemistry by itself cannot establish a diagnosis of malignancy or benignity in a specimen. The introduction also contains a very informative description of immunohistochemistry that includes methodology and a discussion of possible pitfalls in the interpretation of immunohistochemical slides, such as the distinction of cytoplasmic vs nuclear expression depending on the particular antibody.

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