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August 14, 1991

The Principles and Practice of Nephrology

JAMA. 1991;266(6):852-853. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470060114044

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


This book passed its first test on the morning when it arrived for review. A cardiologist happened to come by to ask if he should catheterize a diabetic dialysis patient suffering from precordial chest pain. We used the book to look up the prognosis of diabetics on dialysis and found the answer neatly summarized in the table on page 481:22.7% of such patients died each year. The cardiologist left impressed with the new kidney book but doubtful about the wisdom of aggressive intervention.

The next test was to select a few topics from among the book's 149 chapters. We picked at random cystinosis, acquired cystic disease, vascular access, hypophosphatemia, membranous glomerulonephritis, daily dialysis, and hyperalimentation in acute renal failure. We found the discussions comprehensive and the controversial issues well presented in an informed and objective manner.

The third test, however, was a failure: the book was too heavy to read