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Edited by Martin Keuchel, Friedrich Hagenmüller, David E. Fleischer. Heidelberg: Springer Medizin Verlag, 2006, £130.50 (hardback), pp 296. ISBN 3-540-23128-5
Let me make a confession. When I was first asked to review this book, I jumped at the opportunity because about 3 months ago I bought my own copy and have found it extremely valuable, but I have felt guilty about keeping it to myself. I know that if I let the trainees have access to it, it will very quickly disappear, for me never to see it again. Now I have two copies, so trainees can benefit.
The book title leads you to believe falsely that it is simply a series of pictures that allows you to pattern‐match what you see on examinations of your patients with examples in the atlas. It is much more than that. Its 60 or so contributors deal with absolutely everything you could want to know about capsule endoscopy, from history to future developments. Indeed, the future developments chapter right at the end is particularly entertaining and was written by Paul Swain. Certainly, it will become dated but it is real “Star Trek” stuff at present. Applications, indications, technical and procedural routine, evaluation and reporting technique are all there; every known aspect of capsule endoscopy is dealt with, some in extremely ingenious ways. To complement the capsule endoscopy chapters of the book, there are supportive chapters dealing with other endoscopic and non‐endoscopic imaging. These put capsule endoscopy in context and allow its role of therapeutic guidance to be discussed.
My only gripe is that the modern‐day radiological techniques of CT and MR scanning are scarcely discussed – perhaps hardly surprising, as there is not a single radiologist amongst the contributors. Nonetheless, this is a pretty spectacular book from a technical and clinical endoscopic standpoint. The range of images of common, unusual and frankly rare conditions is virtually complete. There are very few conditions discussed in the text for which there is no capsule endoscopy image. The image in the section on coeliac disease of the capsule immersed in steatorrhoea in the colon is particularly inspiring. You want worms and parasites? They are here in profusion, as is everything else from angiodysplasia to tumours, coeliac disease to Crohn's disease. I think I'd probably go so far as to say that if you were considering setting up a capsule endoscopy service then you would be putting yourself at a very significant disadvantage if you didn't first go out and buy a copy of this book and read it thoroughly before starting.