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April 21, 1978


Author Affiliations

Cambridge, Mass

JAMA. 1978;239(16):1666. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280430082028

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This is an extremely well-written book that concisely reviews modern medical concepts of asthma. The authors are able to skillfully explain the scientific basis for asthma without being didactic. Controversial and varied ideas are presented in a lucid manner. Most importantly for the practitioner, the authors bring clinical meaning to basic science.

All of the chapters may be read individually, but when taken as a whole, the book gives a good overview of a complex disease process. The section on physiology provides an exceptionally clear and concise explanation of lung mechanics. Normal airway physiology is reviewed, and pathophysiology is well correlated with pulmonary function testing. Each test, ranging from simple spirometry to dynamic compliance studies, is accurately described and remarkably up to date. In addition, the practical approach to pulmonary function testing, offered here, includes many pitfalls, knowledge of which is useful in testing patients.

As its greatest strength, this