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Mayo Clin Proc. 2010 July; 85(7): e51.
PMCID: PMC2894732

Cousins and Bridenbaugh's Neural Blockade in Clinical Anesthesia and Pain Medicine

Reviewed by John E. Tetzlaff, MD

4th edition, edited by  Michael J. Cousins,  Phillip O. Bridenbaugh,  Daniel B. Carr, and  Terese T. Horlocker,  1360 pp, with illus,  $210,  Philadelphia, PA,  Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (telephone: 800-638-3030),  2009, ISBN  978-0-7817-7388-1.

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Type and Scope of Book:

A multiauthored, edited textbook of acknowledged experts within this subspecialty.


The authors present the fourth edition of a textbook acknowledged to be the definitive resource for neural blockade for clinical anesthesia and pain medicine, including the pharmacology of local anesthetics, the physiology of conduction block, and technical aspects of regional anesthesia for surgical anesthesia as well as acute and chronic pain. In the decade since the publication of the third edition, options for clinical management of pain have greatly expanded. The fourth edition remains the definitive authority for conduction block with local anesthetics, it expands the realm to include numerous new pharmacological options to modulate nociception, and it includes the rapidly expanding options for invasive procedures for diagnosis and treatment of chronic pain states. Balance is maintained with the inclusion of a definitive chapter about complications of invasive pain procedures and a visionary chapter about the future of pain medicine.


This book remains the definitive authority for all applications of neural blockade for surgical anesthesia as well as acute and chronic pain. Any in-depth review of a topic within these areas should begin with the text and continue with review of the definitive reference list provided consistently by the contributors. In this edition, the presentation of pain medicine has advanced in step with the rapidly changing specialty.


If this work has a deficiency, it would be as a quick resource for a novice. If a resident or medical student needs to quickly review a technique of regional anesthesia to prepare for a first-time experience, he or she would be better served to use an atlas in which the procedure would be presented step-wise without the additional details.

Recommended Readership:

This book should be purchased by all anesthesiology residents and regional anesthesia and pain fellows. It belongs in the office of academic faculty for regional anesthesia and pain medicine. Medical students should expect to see this edition in department and medical school libraries. Clinicians who include regional anesthesia in their practice would find this book useful reading for updates.

Overall Grading:

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