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September 5, 1977

Kidney Physiology and Kidney Disease: An Introduction to Nephrology

Author Affiliations

Orange, Calif

JAMA. 1977;238(10):1076. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280110080036

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Authors probably ought not to write prefaces, for such pages serve only to illuminate the gap between intention and performance. In accepting the challenge of squeezing nephrology into a small book, Maude entered into a losing battle. The core of a good pocket book of nephrology is here; editorial judment could have saved the day, but plan and execution are badly marred. Specifically, a short introduction to nephrology should not give away precious space to routine anatomy, surface area nomograms, sketches of glomeruli surrounded by detailed lists of filtered solutes, and prolonged discussion of organic base excretion and hydrogen ion homeostasis. These insertions are coupled with some truly awesome omissions. A section on chronic renal failure that does not mention the word transplantation staggers me, a veteran reviewer. A description of dehydration that ignores skin turgor grieves me. Some of the discussion, for example, of potassium deficits, low protein diets,