Synopsis of Ophthalmology

Synopsis of Ophthalmology

650 BOOK REVIEWS This is truly a constellation of stars who scintillate under the capable editing of Waife and Shapiro. The first part of the book d...

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This is truly a constellation of stars who scintillate under the capable editing of Waife and Shapiro. The first part of the book deals with the principles of drug evaluation and the second with clinical trials in practice. An apt quota­ tion of A. Bradford Hill introduces Part I: In general it will be seen that the essence of a successfully controlled clinical trial lies in its minutia—in a painstaking, and sometimes very dull, attention to every detail.

The introduction to Part II is a quotation from Galen: All who drink of this remedy recover in a short time, except those whom it does not help, who will die. Therefore, it is obvious that it fails only in incurable cases.

It is a scary and yet optimistic book. It rightly encourages conservatism, at the same time experimentation, but only under the most rigid and scientific control. One is a much better physician for having read and studied it. Obviously quacks should avoid it for they will lose their brazen self-con­ fidence. Derrick Vail.

By William H. Havener, M.D. St. Louis, C. V. Mosby Company, 1959. 282 pages and index. Price : $6.75.


The latest offering on the principles of ophthalmology for the nonophthalmologic reader is a handsomely bound, well-printed volume of almost pocket size. Its ostensible purpose is to aid general physicians in the understanding and treatment of some of the important diseases of the eye. Copiously il­ lustrated with excellent photographs and drawings and simply and concisely written it would appear to fulfill that aim. It is doubt­ ful that it is adequate for use as a textbook for undergraduate medical students since it does not include any detailed anatomy nor any real information on errors of refraction. Material is not arranged in typical textbook style and perhaps the originality of presenta-

tion makes for a more refreshing approach. The first chapter, on eye examination, is followed by others on diagnosis and treat­ ment of eye injury, diagnosis and manage­ ment of the red eye, medical ophthalmology, neuro-ophthalmology, glaucoma, strabismus, uveitis, degenerative conditions of the eye, developmental anomalies of the eye, the meaning of eye symptoms, eyelids, physiol­ ogy, therapy, value of consultation and re­ ferral, surgery of the eye, and a final chapter entitled "blindness is preventable." There are a number of statements to which exception might be taken such as the indictment of the staphylococcus as the com­ monest cause of "pink eye," the recom­ mendation of 500 mg. of Diamox intrave­ nously at hourly intervals in acute glaucoma, and the overemphasis of diabetes as a com­ mon cause of xanthelasma. In general, how­ ever, the text is accurate and noncontroversial. The book should prove of value to gen­ eral physicians to whom an ophthalmologist is not readily available. William A. Mann.

A. By Thomas Moore, Sc.D. (Cantab.) and D.Sc. (Belfast). Amster­ dam, Elsevier Publishing Company, 1957. Available from D. Van Nostrand Com­ pany, Inc., Fourth Avenue, New York 10. Price: Not listed. No one should treat eyes without know­ ing more about the amazing vitamin A, its precursor the carotines, and the multitude of ways it affects the human body, from conception to old age. The effects of deficiencies of vitamin A— deficiencies due to poor intake, poor absorp­ tion, poor assimilation—are attested by hundreds of papers given by careful scien­ tists and reviewed interestingly and with skill. Those who attest a new disease entity with corneal destruction, like familial dysautonomia, should read this work; and not only