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Occup Environ Med. 2007 April; 64(4): 288.
PMCID: PMC2078459

Tumours of the Serosal Membranes. Armed Forces Institute of Pathology Atlas of Tumour Pathology, Fourth Series, Fascicle 3

Reviewed by Allen R Gibbs

Edited by A Churg, P T Cagle, V L Roggli. DC: Washington, 2006, $75.00, pp 147. ISBN 1-881041-97-2

Tumours of the serosal membranes is fascicle 3 of the fourth series of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology Atlas of tumour pathology. It covers lesions of the pleura, peritoneum, pericardium and tunica vaginalis. It follows the style of the other fascicles in the series, with a roughly even balance of text and coloured illustrations. There are useful chapters on the anatomy of the serosal membranes, cytological aspects of diagnosis and the histopathological differential diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma from other tumours, and benign versus malignant mesothelial reactions. Nowadays, it is probably the latter that causes most problems to cytopathologists and histopathologists.

I do not completely agree with the authors in dismissing the role of immunohistochemistry in the differentiation of reactive from malignant epithelioid‐type mesothelial proliferations, as I have found the use of p53, epithelial membrane antigen and desmin to be useful. However, this is “nit picking”. The book is comprehensive and illustrates and discusses a wide variety of rare and unusual lesions that involve the serosal membranes. The index is reasonable.

The aim of this book is to provide thorough, concise and up‐to‐date information to help the practising pathologist in arriving at the correct diagnosis in a difficult case. As such it admirably succeeds. The three authors, who are members of the US–Canadian Mesothelioma Panel, have considerable experience in the diagnosis of these lesions and, as would be expected, provide a wealth of high‐quality illustrative material. The book should function as a good handbook for the trainee and practising histopathologist. Clinicians involved in the diagnosis, management or medicolegal aspects of mesothelioma would also find it useful. The price of $75.00 seems to be good value.


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