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Book review: neonatal cerebral investigation


Thomas Strahleck

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Book review:

neonatal cerebral investigation

by Rennie,JM; Hagmann,CF; Robertson, NJ; 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0521838481

I´d like to congratulate the authors: their description of the examination of the neonatal brain from the clinical viewpoint is really thrilling! In the first part you find a detailed description of the basic s of physics and technology of ultrasound, MRI, EEG and aEEG including safety issues as well as clinical examinations , normal anatomy and normal imaging appearance including the maturational aspects of the premature brain. Emphasis is taken on repeated examinations at different times.

The second part deals with the examination of the neonatal brain. In these chapters the approach to the topics is from the clinical point of view, starting with a problem or a diagnosis and the underlying pathophysiology, followed by a detailed description of the investigational possibilities with the values and limitations of the different techniques and the description of therapies and prognosis. The sections include suspected seizures, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, screening, ventriculomegaly , congenital malformations and more.

For example in the chapter “the baby who was depressed at birth” you find the description of what investigations should be done, a detailed passage of pathophysiology, neuropathology and the clinical course, followed by a detailed analysis of the results of EEG, aEEG, the different findings of ultrasound, conventional MRI, quantitative MRI. The chapter is closed by treatment, prognosis and a short description of non hypoxic encephalopathy.

The book is providing a lot of great figures (some of them containing up to 32 pictures) and tables, it´s really a treasure; you can use it also as an atlas of neonatal brain imaging. The lists of literature are extensive and valuable.

What is missing –but this is not a real problem- is a description of examinations in genetics in the chapter of congenital malformation. It also could have been useful, if evolving techniques that are likely to come into the clinical routine practice e.g. near infrared spectroscopy would have been mentioned.

This book should be available in every NICU, and it will be especially useful for everybody learning or performing ultrasound examinations in newborns and also for those who care for the babies and who have to ask the right questions and to interpret the results. Even the experienced physician will find a lot of interesting aspects and insights. The book is especially valuable because of the synthesis of clinical and technical aspects. It teaches the complex interaction between those.

Thanks to the authors, I ´ve enjoyed reading this book.

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