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Book review: Newborn Lung: Neonatology Questions and Controversies


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Newborn Lung: Neonatology Questions and Controversies

Edited by Eduardo MD Bancalari, Richard A. Polin. 512 pp.,

Publisher: W B Saunders Co

Pub. Date: March 2008; 82.95 $

ISBN-13: 978-1-4160-3166-6.

Included in series Neonatology: Questions & Controversies

Most of the improvement in neonatal outcomes has been related to advances in respiratory care of the preterm infant. This book is a collection of state of the art comprehensive contributions from 39 leading scientists and clinicians in the field of neonatal pulmonology, each author was carefully selected to cover his topic in a perfect way. Every chapter contains a wealth of information compiled in a clear and readable fashion. that most readers will find novel and many interesting tidbits that will be new even to experienced clinicians. While the early chapters deal primarily with developmental issues, the subsequent chapters address some of the most important clinical problems facing the neonatologist today. The book confidently tackles these subjects and gives seasoned advice on the latest diagnostic and treatment strategies using evidence-based medicine wherever possible.

Although this book does not cover all aspects related to the newborn lung, it gives a complete, critical, and contemporary review of those areas that are more novel or controversial or have been of greater relevance in the progress of neonatal respiratory care. There are four major sections: lung development; injury in the developing lung; management of respiratory failure; and respiratory control and apnea of prematurity. A chapter on the role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of acute and chronic lung disease by Christian P. Speer is a remarkably concise, detailed, and informative mini-monograph on this topic. The goal of the editors is achieved admirably in chapters that cover lung fluid balance, non-invasive respiratory support, HFOV in neonatal respiratory failure, new developments in the management of neonatal pulmonary hypertension and new modalities of mechanical ventilation. The section on respiratory control and apnea of prematurity is outstanding; it combines a readable discussion of neonatal respiratory control with a review of strategies for prevention of apenic episodes in preterm infants. I’m not aware of any other book that had covered these topics in such a way.

One of the strengths of this book is that most of its chapters provide information on the latest research, combined with up-to-date information on the management of patients’ care. The chapters organized according to clinical category present information clearly and in a format that will be appreciated by neonatologists.

An interesting point is that the authors challenged to combine discussions of fetal and neonatal physiology with disease pathophysiology making this book an excellent reference for the developmental biologists as well as for clinician caring for sick newborns. Neonatologists and nurse practitioners in training and generalist pediatricians who care for newborn infants should refer to this book frequently and will use the book as a reference for their work with individual patients.

I enjoyed the clear illustrations and figures demonstrating early lung development, lung fluid balance, surfactant production and metabolism, pathogenesis of BPD, optimal oxygen levels in preterm infants and pulmonary graphics; the tables on surfactant replacement therapy and management of apnea of prematurity; as well as the algorithms for HFOV.

The editor of this book is Prof. Eduardo Bancalari, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, Obstetrics, and Gynecology, Director Division of Neonatology, Chief Newborn Service, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA ; one of the leading scientists in neonatal pulmonology. This book comes in a series “Neonatology: Questions and Controversies” edited by Richard A. Polin, Professor of Pediatrics, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, Director, Division of Neonatology, Morgan Stanely Children’s Hospital of New York-Presbyterian, Columbia University Medical Center, New York; one of the pioneers of neonatology, an influential teacher to neonatal students, residents and colleagues all over the world, is the co-editor of one of the most frequently used textbooks in neonatology, "Fetal and Neonatal Physiology."

In summary, this is a well-written, easy-to-use reference book that fills a well-defined need. It is interesting enough to read straight through but well organized enough to read a chapter at a time.

Hesham Abdel-Hady, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Prof. of Pediatrics/Neonatology

Mansoura University Children’s Hospital

Mansoura 35516


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