Ophthalmology

Ophthalmology

276 BOOK REVIEWS grants and fellowship applications should be addressed to Dr. Frederick L. Stone, Chief of Extramural Programs, National Institute ...

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276

BOOK REVIEWS

grants and fellowship applications should be addressed to Dr. Frederick L. Stone, Chief of Extramural Programs, National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness, Bethesda 14, Maryland. (Signed) Dan M. Gordon, New York.

BOOK REVIEWS By Arnold Sorsby, Research Professor in Ophthal­ mology, Royal College of Surgeons and Royal Eye Hospital; Surgeon, Royal Eye Hospital, London. London, England, Butterworth and Company (publishers) Ltd.; St. Louis, The C. V. Mosby Company, 1951. Price: $9.50. There is available at last, and in English, a most satisfactory text for ophthalmological genetics! Sorsby's book may be compared most favorably with such classic continental works as Waardenburg's Das menschliche Auge und seine Erbanlagen, and/or Franceschetti's contribution in the Kurzes Handbuch der 0phthalmologie. Before discussing the contents, a few words could be said on the general arrange­ ment and appearance of the book. The bind­ ing is conservative and the size most con­ venient for comfortable reading. The print is good and relatively easy on the eyes. The paper is semigloss and takes very well the 233 figures which include instructive and interesting illustrations of ocular disease and family pedigrees. A valuable bibliography of carefully selected references and a compre­ hensive index are included. The text is ar­ ranged in a brief yet concise manner into three major sections: (1) Theoretical con­ siderations, (2) isolated ocular anomalies, and (3) generalized disorders with ocular aspects. GENETICS IN OPHTHALMOLOGY.

Section I, "Theoretical considerations," presents in an understandable yet most com­ prehensive manner the principles of modern genetics. The ophthalmologist is not re­ quired to shell peas or count corn kernels in

order to grasp the basic fundamentals of the science of heredity. Rather the basic knowl­ edge in the field of genetics is treated as it applies to ophthalmology and utilizes familiar ophthalmic material. Sorsby, with seasoned practicality, emphasizes that inherited dis­ eases may be treated and controlled. Section II, "Isolated ocular anomalies," is presented in seven chapters. Chapter 1, "The globe as a whole," includes a section devoted to the problem of glaucoma and its hereditary aspect. The specificity of hydrophthalmos and glaucoma is supported on a genetic basis. In discussing the "Aberrations of refraction" the author denounces the fallacious attempt "to seek genetic interpretation of refraction and its anomalies by taking into account only the total or clinical refraction of the eye." A true "genetic analysis" will be accomplished only when the "mode of inheritance" and course of development of the variable "com­ ponents of refraction are known." The role of heredity in muscle imbalance is outlined for the serious deliberation of the oculist. Short but adequate descriptions of the known modes of inheritance of the develop­ mental, congenital, and abiotrophic anomalies of the cornea, lens, uveal tract, choroid, retina, optic nerve, lids, and lacrimal ap­ paratus appear in sequence. Section III, "Generalized disorders with ocular aspects," is an extremely valuable di­ vision of the book. The ocular changes as­ sociated with hereditary metabolic and sys­ temic diseases and the hereditary syndromes are clearly described and, when possible, ade­ quately classified. The very difficult subject of the syndromes is ably presented and will provide the alert ophthalmologist with a val­ uable source of diagnostic knowledge. For the student and the busy practitioner this book is a must! Harold F. Falls. By Arno E. Town. Phila­ delphia, Lea and Febiger, 1951. Clothbound, 487 pages and index, 208 illustra-

OPHTHALMOLOGY.

BOOK REVIEWS tions and four colored plates. Price: $10.00. This new textbook was prepared under the able direction of Dr. Town with Dr. Clark, Dr. Duggan, Dr. Fox, Dr. Givner, Dr. Howland, Dr. Kasper, Dr. Leopold, Dr. Naidoff, Dr. Shipman, Dr. Wagman, and Dr. Waldman as contributors. It is intended for use by undergraduate medical students and general practitioners. For the average undergraduate student it is a somewhat more comprehensive and com­ plex exposition than his actual needs require or the limitation in time in a crowded medi­ cal curriculum makes practicable. As a refer­ ence work rather than a text for assigned reading it seems to be ideal. For the general practitioner it is likewise adequate for the same purpose; for the postgraduate student in ophthalmology it is sufficiently complete to serve as a means of orientation in the spe­ cialty at the beginning of his training and before he begins more extensive reading in more elaborate treatises. No exception can be taken to the factual material presented nor in the manner of pre­ senting it. The book presents the subject in its most modern sense and, since it is a new book, it carries over no antiquated ideas from previous editions and takes full cognizance of the newer developments in the field. Some 73 pages are devoted to the physiology of vision. The arrangement is logical in that anatomy is not carried as a separate chapter but the anatomic characteristics of each subdivision are considered at the beginning of the chap­ ter devoted to discussion of the disease of that portion of the eye. For the avowed purpose of this text, the chapters on neuro-ophthalmology, the ocular changes in general disease, and the standing orders for traumatic cases in industrial dis­ pensaries are particularly valuable. It is ques­ tionable whether, in a work of this scope, 37 pages should be devoted to surgery of the eye. The book is adequately illustrated, al­ though one might wish that more color plates

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had been included, and this will doubtless be done in future editions. William A. Mann. CHRONOLOGY

OF OPHTHALMIC

DEVELOP­

MENT. By Arthur H. Keeney, M.D. Springfield, Illinois, Charles C Thomas, 1951. Price: $2.00. This monograph is divided into two main sections. The first section deals with pre­ natal and postpartum development. It is all told in table form. Each section of the eye is carried through a prearranged time sched­ ule, so it is easy to follow any one type of tissue through all the stages from the third fetal week to 25 years of age; or at any one stage in development one can determine how every tissue of the eye is developing. The second section deals with the func­ tional development of vision from the third fetal month up to nine years of age. The monograph, as stated by the author, contains nothing new so far as embryology is concerned. It is a cleverly arranged, brief outline of the subject. It will make an excel­ lent reference for the student, or the practic­ ing ophthalmologist, pediatrician, or general practitioner who has an understanding of embryology. As the author states, "It is a comprehensive review and reference table, not a textbook of the subject." There is a very definite need for an outline of this type. Nothing similar to it is now in print. Earl H. Merz. BULLETIN DE LA SOCIETE BELGE

D'OPH-

TALMOLOGIE, 1950, volume 96, pp. 527-

721; 1951, volume 97, pp. 1-217. Twenty-five papers, which represented the current status of various topics, were read during the scientific session on November 26, 1950. L. Hambresin and J. Bernolet discussed the ocular complications of smallpox vaccina­ tion. They distinguish three types of corneal involvement—a mild marginal infiltration,