Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet
S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University
of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor; adviser
for new media, Robert Hogan, MD, San Diego.
The splendid seventh edition of this venerated text is now available.
There are major changes in editors, authors, page size, and publishing details
as part of the evolution toward an ever more useful text to assist beginners
and experts. Early editions incorporated physiology and pathology into an
understanding of enteral gastroenterology, and there were no comparable texts.
As new editions appeared, fields of advancement progressed from physiology
and pathology to biochemistry and immunology and, more recently, genetics,
cellular kinetics, and, within immunology, cytokines. Diagnosis became more
dependent upon videoendoscopy and its associated ultrasound. Treatment recommendations
were initially based on the experience of experts, but, with controlled trials
and evidence-based medicine, such experience diminished in value. About the
time of the third edition, competing texts appeared, usually establishing
their own emphasis and identity but also pirating the best of Sleisenger & Fordtran. A plethora of excellent hepatology texts
appeared as well. As a result of this competition, new editions of Sleisenger & Fordtran incorporated the most valuable features of
their rivals (hepatology was added to the sixth edition) and became ever more
useful. With each new edition the editors and publisher confronted the dilemma
of completeness balanced with what to leave out to keep size and cost manageable.
The present edition diminishes basic science moderately, omits technical aspects
of endoscopy, and focuses on evidence-based management.
Iber FL. Gastroenterology. JAMA. 2003;289(11):1441–1442. doi:10.1001/jama.289.11.1441
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